Santee Cooper, Central begin process to add up to 500MW solar power
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Santee Cooper and Central Electric Power Cooperative have launched a bid process seeking to purchase up to 500 megawatts (MW) of new utility-scale solar power through several projects to be built across South Carolina.
Santee Cooper has sent a request for proposals (RFP) to nearly 30 solar developers. Santee Cooper and Central will work together to review bids and award contracts, and Central may choose to become a counterparty to one or more purchase agreements through this process. Contracts will target power projects of 25-125 MWs each, with the developers owning the projects and Santee Cooper and Central purchasing the electric output.
The process will be conducted in accordance with terms approved by the South Carolina General Assembly governing Santee Cooper through May 2021. The process includes an ongoing question-and-answer period through July 13, and bids are due July 30. Santee Cooper and Central will review the bids with a goal to wrap up negotiations with developers and begin awarding contracts later this year.
“This RFP signals Santee Cooper’s commitment to Central, and to all Santee Cooper customers, to transform our generation into a leaner, greener portfolio that increases sustainability and costs less,” said Santee Cooper President and CEO Mark Bonsall. “This is a market-driven process designed to produce the best prices and best benefits for our customers, and to do so in a manner that is open and transparent.”
The current resource plan for service of Santee Cooper’s customers includes the addition of up to 1,000 MW of new solar capacity placed into service by 2024 and an additional 500 MW added by 2031, all to be purchased from third-party providers and intended in part to replace some existing coal-fired generation.