LIPA seeks renewable power proposals

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Long Island Power Authority has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) from firms interested in providing electricity from renewable facilities and associated renewable energy certificates.

In a release Monday, LIPA said the renewable energy could come from new or existing projects in New York, New England or the PJM electricity markets.

LIPA has voluntarily agreed to follow the state Public Service Commission’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which requires suppliers to acquire 25 percent of the power they sell from renewable sources by 2013.

LIPA said it is interested in buying renewable energy in two 150 gigawatt-hour per year blocks for a period of 10 years. Each block is about 1 percent of LIPA’s total annual energy needs.

A 20 MW power plant running around the clock for a year can generate about 175,000 megawatt-hours or 175 gigawatt-hours. Most renewable energy sources like solar and wind however are only available about a third of the time, according to energy sources.

LIPA wants the renewable deliveries to commence on July 1, 2008 for block 1 and July 1, 2009 for block 2.

Companies interested in submitting proposals should do so by January 11, 2008.


In 2004, LIPA picked FPL Group Inc’s FPL Energy subsidiary as the winning bidder in an RFP to build a 140 MW offshore wind farm off the south shore of Long Island.

At the time, FPL estimated the project would cost about $350 million. According to reports this summer however, FPL now estimates it would cost about $700 million.

A study by PACE Global Energy meanwhile estimated the all-in cost of the project at over $810 million.

Although LIPA’s Board has not officially canceled the FPL project, LIPA’s President and Chief Executive Kevin Law has said the municipal utility would likely have to shelve the project in part due to its high cost.

If LIPA decides to kill the FPL project and pursue another offshore wind farm, Bluewater, which lost out to FPL in 2004, has said it might be interested in making another proposal for Long Island.

Bluewater, bought by Australian investment firm Babcock and Brown in September, is developing a 450 MW offshore wind in Delaware.

LIPA supplies power to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens in New York.

Reporting by Scott DiSavino; Editing by Marguerita Choy