Distributed Energy Resources

Maine utility seeks non-wires solutions through solicitation

Central Maine Power (CMP), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, recently issued a request for proposal for potential non-wires alternative solutions to establish sufficient quantities of distributed energy resources into the South China and Winthrop areas in Maine.

CMP said it was issuing the RFP for resources to defer portions of a traditional transmission project planned for the Greater Augusta area.

Two types of transmission reliability needs have been observed in the Augusta area -- single contingency and maintenance outage. Non-wires alternatives have been identified as potential alternatives to address these reliability needs.

CMP will consider in-front of the meter (grid connected) resources that may include one or more, or a combination of the following technologies in this RFP:

  • Grid connected distributed generation
  • Grid connected energy storage
  • Other grid connected resources that are able to meet the identified reliability needs

For purposes of responding to the RFP, CMP will not consider any sources of DER in service as of the date of this RFP located within the service area, except that existing DER may be used if the capacity of the DER is increased to be above what was in-service as of the date of the RFP. This is because existing DER is already included within current planning studies, CMP explained.

Proposals must be capable of providing the reliability support and satisfying the other requirements indicated within the RFP and developer(s) may submit multiple options for any and all, and for any combination of the resources.  

The term of the agreement associated with the RFP is January 1, 2022–December 31, 2031.

The RFP is available here.

RMI offers playbook to support non-wires projects

Non-wires solutions can help lower spending on distribution systems while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but barriers are blocking their widespread use, according to a “playbook” for utilities and policymakers, Rocky Mountain Institute said in a 2018 report.

Bonneville sought non-wires solutions for congested corridor

In 2016, Bonneville Power Administration issued a request for offers on products or measures from third parties that might help alleviate transmission congestion in southwestern Washington and northwestern Oregon.

The request for offers, or RFO, called for the establishment of a pilot program to address congestion in the near term. It also sought to inform BPA about whether there were cost-effective options that could potentially delay the need to build its proposed I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project. BPA said it was hoping it might be able to defer that project by five years or more.

In 2017, BPA said it would not build the I-5 Corridor Reinforcement Project, a proposed 80-mile, 500-kilovolt transmission line that would have stretched from Castle Rock, Wash., to Troutdale, Ore.

BPA noted at the time that it would begin implementing a two-year pilot project that would provide targeted transmission congestion relief in the greater Portland-Vancouver area during peak periods of electric use in the summer. The pilot project should result in over 100 megawatts of flow relief along the most congested portion of the transmission corridor for four-hour blocks, according to Bonneville.

"This 'non-wires' pilot is just one of many ideas Bonneville is initiating as part of its transformational approach to meeting customer needs," BPA said.