RFI will seek renewable energy project price estimates for cities

Boston Mayor Martin Walsh on June 7 unveiled plans to issue a request for information for competitive pricing of large-scale renewable energy projects.

The RFI will compile the energy demand data across participating U.S. cities and ask renewable energy developers for price estimates for projects that would meet their collective energy demand.

The City of Boston is working with partner cities now to compile the collective energy load data for the RFI.

The first cities to join the initiative include Chicago; Evanston, Ill.; Houston; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; and Portland, Ore. Each of these cities are part of the Climate Mayors network.

Public power utilities in Los Angeles (Los Angeles Department of Water and Power) and Orlando (Orlando Utilities Commission) are already actively adding renewable energy supplies to their respective generation portfolios.

The Florida Municipal Power Agency, along with 12 Florida public power utilities – including OUC -- and NextEra Florida Renewables LLC, on May 4 announced plans for a large-scale solar energy project.

OUC customers who want solar energy, but may not own their own homes or are unable to put panels on their roof, can purchase energy from the new project through OUC’s Community Solar program. The remaining power from the new project will be purchased by FMPA member cities from NextEra Florida Renewables, OUC noted.

OUC has committed to a 20-year power purchase agreement with two five-year extensions.

Meanwhile, OUC's new solar energy test site in the central Florida community is nearing completion and should be operational in June.

For its part, over the past 12 years, LADWP has aggressively expanded its renewable portfolio from 7 percent in 2006 to 29 percent in 2016, and is on track to exceed 33 percent renewables by 2020.

Mayor calls on more cities to participate

Walsh called on more cities to join the renewable energy initiative and as more cities join the initiative, their energy demand data will be added to the collective load.

Boston hopes to finalize the list of participating cities and issue the RFI later this summer for responses from renewable energy developers.