As part of Colorado Springs Utilities’ efforts to prepare the community for a new energy future, enhance the city’s economic vitality and meet its goal to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, two requests for proposals (RFPs) will be issued in July 2023 for 1,500 MW of new electric generation and 100 MW of energy storage.
The target for introducing these new resources into Springs Utilities’ electric system is May 2028.
“Thanks to our proactive planning, we can meet customer demands with our existing generation resources,” said Travas Deal, Springs Utilities CEO. “Yet, to meet our carbon emission reduction goals, manage customer costs, provide enhanced electric grid reliability, and stay a step ahead of the next wave of technology and regulations, we must continue to diversify our energy mix.”
Based on a preliminary analysis, Springs Utilities is seeking about 525 MW of solar, 100 MW of energy storage, 625 MW of wind and 350 MW of natural gas capacity through 2030. However, due to the dynamic nature of the energy market, the organization is open to exploring alternative technology types and a combination of resources that align with its reliability and sustainability goals.
The RFPs will provide potential bidders with an opportunity to propose various resource types and commercial structures such as power purchase agreements, build-operate-transfer arrangements and Springs Utilities ownership models.
Springs Utilities has hired GEP, a global procurement and supply chain consulting firm, to serve as the procurement advisor for the RFPs. GEP will take the lead in bidder engagement, screening RFP responses for technical compatibility, and providing support throughout the development, issuance and evaluation of bids.
Potential bidders can express their interest in the RFP by filling out the online expression of interest form. For any additional queries before the RFP is published, bidders can contact Steven Tang at [email protected].
The RFPs will be published using GEP SMART and potential bidders must register on the platform via Springs Utilities’ website.
Efforts like the RFPs; the completion of six modular natural gas units adjacent to the now-closed Martin Drake Power Plant; substation expansion and transmission line projects; and entry into the Southwest Power Pool are all key elements of Springs Utilities’ Sustainable Energy Plan.
Renewable energy remains an integral part of Springs Utilities’ plans over the next several years. By 2024, the 175-MW Pike Solar project will be added to its system. When built, it will be the largest solar facility on the electric grid.
Additionally, by 2025, the organization plans to add between 100-200 MW of battery storage – the first of its kind on the system. Battery storage can increase grid resiliency and flexibility as new resources are added to the organization’s energy portfolio.