Large Renewal Procurement
In June 2012, the Ontario Minister of Energy directed the Ontario Power Authority (the “OPA”) to begin development of what is now known as the Large Renewable Procurement (the “LRP”). The LRP is a competitive process for the procurement of large renewable energy projects generally greater than 500 kW. The procurement targets are as follows:
|2015||300 MW||140 MW||50 MW||50 MW|
|2016||300 MW||140 MW||50 MW||45 MW|
The OPA’s final recommendations report, prepared for the Minister of Energy, was released in February 2014. The report included proposed elements of subsequent stages of the procurement process including the request for qualifications and request for proposals.
Request for Qualifications
The LRP is a multi-step process, and the first step is a request for qualifications. Through this process, the OPA seeks qualification submissions for potential future requests for proposals for these types of large renewable energy projects (the “LRP I RFQ”). Applicants are assessed on a variety of factors such as their ability to meet mandatory requirements, development experience, their willingness to make the necessary investments and financial capacity, and their compliance with laws and regulations. From these submissions, the OPA is in the position to establish a list of qualified applicants that will become eligible to participate in the second step, a request for proposals (the “LRP I RFP”).
List of Qualified Applicants
On July 14, 2012, the OPA published the LRP I RFQ, and on September 4, 2014, the deadline for submissions expired. At this time, the evaluation process has been completed. In the preceding months, the OPA carefully reviewed all seventy submissions. As of November 4, 2014, a complete list of the 42 pre-qualified applicants was released and can be found here. Unlike the regular FIT Program, the OPA has largely excluded small developers from the list of pre-qualified applicants. Missing from the list are also a number of well known Canadian developers of renewable energy projects who were rejected due to alleged administrative errors in their submission packages. If history is any indication of future outcomes, given the limited number of MWs being procured, only a handful of the 42 pre-qualified applicants will ever have a chance of securing projects under the RFP process.
Next Steps: Draft Versions of the LRP I RFP and LRP I Contract
The LRP I RFP process has not yet been finalized. The OPA will soon release drafts of both the LRP I RFP and the LRP I Contract. Various interested parties, including municipalities, communities, and stakeholders, will be encouraged to share their comments and concerns with the OPA. In addition, the OPA will host a webinar to discuss the newly released documents. The date and time of the webinar will be provided in conjunction with the drafts.
Interested parties should watch closely for the draft versions of the LRP I RFP and LRP I Contract which are scheduled to be released sometime in November.
Request for Proposals
Upon the finalization of the LRP I RFP process, only the qualified applicants identified by the LRP I RFQ process will be invited to submit specific renewable energy project proposals.
These project specific proposals will be detailed accounts of the project and will include both logistical details such as location, capacity and connection point, and an overview of the entity’s proposed community involvement.
Sven Walker is a Partner at Dale & Lessmann LLP, a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based full service law firm with specific focus on renewable energy law and in particular solar, wind, hydro and biogas energy law. Sven is a legal counsel to a number of industry equipment and technology manufacturers, suppliers and installers, as well as investors, developers, purchasers, contractors, consultants and financing entities. To speak with Sven, please call 416-369-7848 or email him at email@example.com.
Prepared with the assistance of Cassandra Da Re, student-at-law at Dale & Lessmann LLP.