Ontario’s IESO launches 930MW renewables tender

The Canadian utility serving Ontario is holding its second large-scale renewables procurement programme after awarding 455MW of contracts earlier this year.

Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) has begun its second large-scale renewables procurement programme by asking for qualification submissions to bid on 930MW of clean energy projects.

The utility’s request for qualifications (RFQ) is the first step in a procurement process to offer developers and infrastructure financiers contracts to build 600MW of onshore wind, 250MW of solar, 50MW of hydro and 30MW of bioenergy. The deadline to apply for qualification is November.

To participate in Ontario’s Large Renewable Procurement (LRP), IESO requires applicants to “be willing to make the necessary investments to successfully plan, develop, construct and operate large-scale renewable projects,” the utility said in a statement. The procurement process replaced the large Feed-In Tariff programme, which covers renewable energy projects larger than 500kW.

IESO issued its first RFQ in July 2014 and approved 42 applicants. In March this year, it offered contracts to 16 LRP proposals for a total of almost 455MW of renewable energy contracts. Bidders included the likes of EDF EN Canada Development, Invenergy and RES Canada.

Renewables tenders are being adopted in different markets as a way to draw in local and foreign investors to compete for cost-effective and feasible projects. Mexico announced in May it would hold a second renewables procurement programme weeks after awarding 2GW of contracts.

IESO is also offering 936 long-term contracts for about 242MW of small-scale renewable generation through a feed-in tariff programme. Projects that qualify for the tariff have an installed capacity of between 10kW and 500kW and are connected to local distribution systems.