January 9, 2018
Colorado-headquartered Rocky Mountain Institute is soliciting partners for development of a cheap-power large solar and storage project on behalf of Texas’ Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative, CoServe Electric and the University of North Texas.
The organization said the development has a goal of reaching more than 13 MW total of solar photovoltaic power output in the project, which is intended as utility-scale solar power on a community distributed-energy scale.
One of the aims is energy savings by avoiding transmission and generating charges, deferred station upgrades and hedge costs.
Interested bidders for the proposed development will be supplied a financial evaluation model to explain the value of the project, allowing bidders to custom design solar PV and solar-plus-storage projects for individual electricity providers.
In addition to Texas, Rocky Mountain Institute is supporting distribution-scale solar projects in New Mexico, New York and Colorado.
The organization’s goal is to support one gigawatt of new community-scale solar systems by 2020—generating power equivalent of two average-sized coal plants.
Rocky Mountain principal Thomas Koch Blank said there is “strong interest from electricity buyers in Texas in community-scale solar and we are pleased to work with Bluebonnet, CoServ and UNT to bring more clean energy to their communities.”
Rocky Mountain specializes in guiding and recommending electricity companies such as municipals, public utilities and electric coops in their moves into new energy projects.
The organization said the proposal was developed in partnership with Texas Energy Aggregation (TEA) and Texas Coalition for Clean Energy.
TEA has helped public organizations in Texas buy low-cost power since 2002. In 2017, TEA was awarded a contract from the Texas State Comptroller’s office to provide electricity-sourcing services to state agencies, Rocky Mountain said.