- NV Energy, Nevada’s dominant electricity supplier, has merged its 2014 and 2015 100 MW Requests for Proposals (RFPs) for solar. The new bidding deadline for 200 MWs of solar capacity is now February 16. Winning proposals will be announced by April 16 and power purchase agreements will be complete by June 15.
- The change was made in response to a Public Utilities Commission of Nevada order after the commission and other stakeholders raised questions about renewables development ahead of the expiration of federal tax credits for solar.
- More solar is needed to meet Nevada’s 25% by 2025 mandate. Much of the 200 MW requested is expected to come from utility-scale solar. Bidders in the 2014 RFP will be provided an opportunity to refresh their original proposals.
NV Energy is owned by Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s famed investment company.
The 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar will drop to zero for residential applications and 10% for commercial applications as of January 1, 2017. Lead times for utility-scale solar installations are roughly 18 months so projects must begin construction by mid-summer 2015 if they are to qualify for the full credit.
The solar industry wants an extension of the 30% ITC but that may be politically untenable. The alternative is "commence construction" language inserted into the law, allowing projects to qualify for the full credit if they are significantly begun rather than completed before the close of 2016.
"Commence construction" language provided for the wind industry’s Production Tax Credit last year is expected to keep development activity strong through the end of next year.
NV Energy will bring SolarReserve’s 110 MW Crescent Dunes concentrating solar power (CSP) tower project with thermal storage on line this year.