February 09, 2012
PUCO Orders FirstEnergy to Issue Second Solar RFP
A Green Strategies Bulletin
Akron-based FirstEnergy Corp. has issued a second 10-year request for proposals for solar renewable energy credits (SRECs) following a decision by the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio rejecting FirstEnergy's argument that a second RFP is unnecessary.
As part of the settlement of its most recent electric security plan (ESP) case before the PUCO, FirstEnergy agreed to issue four RFPs for renewable energy credits (RECs) and SRECs to help FirstEnergy's Ohio utilities—Ohio Edison, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Co. and Toledo Edison—meet their requirements under Ohio's renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The settlement anticipated that FirstEnergy would issue the RFPs if its Ohio standard service offer (SSO) load met certain thresholds. The first 10-year RFP application was submitted and approved, as modified, in Case No. 10-2891-EL-ACP. FirstEnergy then filed an application for a second 10-year RFP on August 1, 2011, in Case No 11-4625-EL-ACP.
On November 7, 2011, however, FirstEnergy provided notice to the Commission that it did not intend to issue the second RFP. It said that the response to the first RFP, which procured the delivery of 5,000 SRECs and 20,000 RECs produced by Ohio-generating facilities per year for 10 years, had brought its Ohio utilities into full compliance with its RPS SREC requirements for 2011, 2012 and 2013. Further, FirstEnergy said that its most recent SSO load estimate for 2012 placed usage levels below the threshold required in its ESP settlement to issue the second RFP.
In a December 14, 2011, entry, however, the Commission rejected FirstEnergy's arguments and ordered FirstEnergy to issue a second 10-year RFP for SRECs. The Commission explained that the terms of the ESP settlement require FirstEnergy to base its SSO load estimates on data filed with the Commission in December 2010 and April 2011, and not the more recent estimates cited by FirstEnergy.
In response, FirstEnergy announced in January that it will conduct a second RFP to secure 10-year SREC contracts. The RFP seeks delivery of 1,000 SRECs produced by qualified generating facilities in Ohio for each calendar year beginning in 2012 and continuing through 2021. No energy or capacity will be purchased under the RFP. To participate in the RFP, bidders are encouraged to submit credit information by February 27, with full proposal information due by March 6.