New York Needs Some Solar Help

New York’s state-owned power whole seller is considering a plan toadd 100 megawatts of distributed solar power generation to itsportfolio. But before the New York Power Authority (NYPA) starts askingfor bids, it needs to figure out what criteria it should use to awardbids to power developers.

So, yes, it’s asking those who are interested in bidding to submitinformation about engineering, installation, operation and costs ofthem all (see the demand list). The NYPA wants all the information submitted by July 7 this year.

After that, the NYPA would then decide if it really wants to do the100-megawatt project, which would in fact be made of solar energysystems on the grounds and rooftops of its customers, includingschools, cities, businesses, state government buildings and utilities.The NYPA wouldn’t be owning and operating the systems but buy the powerthough long-term contracts instead.

The NYPA said it decides to proceed with the 100-megawatt project, it would like to see it completed by 2012.

Putting solar energy systems close to where the customers are – asopposed to building a centralized power plant in a remote location –has become a popular approach for power whole sellers and retailers.Duke Energy is starting a $50 million project to install 10 megawatts of projects in North Carolina. Southern California Edison also is deploying a 250-megawatt project. Duke and Edison plan to own and operate those solar energy systems, however.

The Pacific Gas and Electric is seeking regulatory approval for a $1.4 billion projectto build and own solar power projects. The Northern California utilityalso is proposing to buy another 250 megawatts of power fromindependent power producers.