More than two-dozen companies responded to a request for proposals (RFP) by the V.I. Water and Power Authority to purchase solar photovoltaic generation from independent power producers, the utility announced.
WAPA's bid process for the project closed Tuesday, and Executive Director Hugo Hodge Jr. said the utility received 27 bids.
“We are excited about the large number of respondents who have made submissions and are looking forward to diversifying our generating portfolio by adding renewables to the mix,” he said.
The authority is seeking photovoltaic generation to lower the cost of power production in the territory. The RFP said the utility will sign a 20-year power purchase agreement to procure electricity generated from solar energy from one or more selected companies with an option to renew for another five years. Winning bidders will be responsible for constructing, operating, and maintaining the projects.
WAPA is seeking a maximum of 10 megawatts of electrical capacity, allocating approximately five each to its generation facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
According to Hodge, the bid documents submitted by the 27 companies will be examined by an evaluation committee made up of WAPA technical personnel, representatives from Energy Development in Island Nations from the U.S. Department of Energy, and other technical and legal consultants. He said the the committee will short-list the bidders, probably by Oct. 25, and then begin negotiations with the selected respondents.
The RFP, which can be viewed in the link below, called for a guaranteed commercial operation date of December 2013.