Appalachian Power has issued a request for bids to develop 300 MW of solar or wind generating capacity. The projects to be developed must be least 50 MW in size and commercially operational by mid-December 2023.  However, proposals with an operational date up to December 15, 2024 will be considered. The proposals may include projects with an option for a battery storage system. The submission deadline for bids is March 31, 2021.

This tender marks Appalachian Power’s largest request yet in a single year for renewable energy bids. As per the tender, Appalachian Power may acquire a single or multiple solar or wind facilities which qualify the financial and technical eligibility criteria. Proposals that qualify for federal tax credits are preferred, but not required. To be eligible, solar projects must be located in Virginia, meanwhile even though wind projects located in Virginia are preferred, it is not mandatory. The projects must be connected to PJM, the independent regional transmission organisation that operates across 13 states, which includes Virginia.

The Appalachian Power plans to issue a series of request for proposals throughout the year in line with the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA). Appalachian Power is working towards 100 percent carbon-free energy in its Virginia service territory by 2050. While working to achieve this, it must meet annual targets as per the VCEA.

In 2020, Virginia became the seventh US state to adopt energy storage procurement goals for utilities. This was achieved with the passage of the VCEA by the General Assembly. The Act aims to get the state to zero carbon emissions by 2050 and the state utilities to generate electricity from 100 per cent renewable energy sources by 2045. The Act also set one of the country’s largest energy storage targets at 3.1 GW by 2035 and directed the Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) to approve new energy storage projects up to the target. The target is split among the state’s two largest utilities—Appalachian Power Company and Virginia Electric and Power Company with each of them required to petition the SCC for approval to construct or acquire 400 MW and 2,700 MW of energy storage resources respectively by 2035.