Appalachian Power seeks 50 MW of solar power for West Virginia

Solar is making further inroads even into the heart of coal country, as Appalachian Power last week issued a request for proposals (RFP) that could bring up to 50 megawatts to West Virginia.

Bidders must offer projects of at least 10 MW that are capable of operation by December 2022 and at least consider the option of including an energy storage system. Any site chosen must be within West Virginia itself, with a history of electric generation, industrial, manufacturing, or mining operations. This could include everything from brownfields and hazardous waste sites to former industrial complexes and former mining sites.

To be considered, any project will have to be interconnected to either Appalachian Power’s West Virginia distribution system or the region’s independent transmission organization, PJM.

“This RFP will help us identify viable large-scale solar projects to reduce customer costs and expand our renewables portfolio while supporting efforts to repurpose sites that might otherwise be overlooked,” Chris Beam, Appalachian Power president and COO, said.

The move puts Appalachian Power in compliance with West Virginia Senate Bill 583, meant to further development of renewable energy resources and facilities. The governor signed it into law in March.

Under the RFP, all of this potential power could stem from either a single or multiple solar facilities from winning bidders. All bids must be operational by Dec. 15, 2022, and qualify for the Federal Investment Tax Credit. They must be submitted by Aug. 6, 2020.