Government Accepting RFPs for Solar Electricity & Renewable Energy Certificates

Authors: Leigh Peters, Brady Chapman, Chad Eggerman, Kevin Mehi

On January 7, 2021, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) announced four new Request for Proposals (RFPs).

Under the RFPs, Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) is seeking to purchase electricity from solar electricity generators in Alberta and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from new clean energy electricity generators across Canada.

The RFPs were announced as a part of the Government of Canada’s pledge under its Clean Electricity Initiative to use 100% clean electricity by 2022. The RFPs also provide specific opportunities to First Nation businesses in Alberta and across Canada.

The Alberta Solar RFPs

PWGSC is looking to establish electricity supply agreements with solar electricity generators in Alberta.

In total, PWGSC is seeking 255,625 MWh of electricity per year for a term of at least 10 years with the option to extend the term by five years. According to the electricity supply contracts, PWGSC will also purchase any associated renewable attributes, such as RECs, related to its purchase of electricity from the solar electricity generator.

Of the total amount of electricity to be purchased, PWGSC has designated that 5% (12,781 MWh per year) is to be purchased from First Nation businesses. To submit a proposal for this set amount, First Nation businesses must qualify under the federal government’s Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Businesses (PSAB).

The Renewable Energy Certificates RFPs

PWGSC is also seeking to purchase RECs for up to 128,000 MWh of electrical generation for a term of 20 years.

Due to Alberta’s deregulated electricity market, PWGSC anticipates that clean electricity project developers in Alberta will be most interested in these RFPs; however, any clean electricity project developer in Canada can submit a bid.

Under the RFPs, PWGSC has stated that 5% (6,600 MWh) of the total RECs will be purchased from First Nation businesses who qualify under the PSAB.

An Alberta solar electricity generator can apply under the Alberta Solar RFPs as well as the RECs RFPs. An Alberta solar electricity generator who is not awarded a contract under the Alberta Solar RFPs may still be awarded a contract under the RECs RFPs.

Information on the RFP Process

Under the RFPs, all bids must be submitted electronically by February 16, 2021.

Bids must contain three sections: a technical bid, a financial bid, and certifications. PSPC will review bids in phases, based on the three sections required in each bid.

PSPC will award contracts to the final collection of bids that are found to be compliant under the RFPs. Contracts will be awarded to the lowest priced compliant bids, until PWGSC meets its procurement target under the RFPs.

Contracts will likely be awarded in mid-2021 for projects that are expected to be commercialized prior to the end of 2022.

MLT Aikins can help your business understand its potential to submit a bid under the RFPs and ensure that your submission complies with the RFPs. Please visit our Aboriginal and energy industry pages to learn more about our team and our work in these areas.

Note: This article is of a general nature only. Laws and government programs may change over time and should be interpreted only in the context of particular circumstances such that these materials are not intended to be relied upon or taken as legal advice or opinion. Readers should consult a legal professional for specific advice in any particular situation.