#Nassau, 4 December, 2019 – Bahamas – More than three dozen potential Independent Power Providers (IPPs) downloaded tender documents during the Bahamas Power and Light Company Ltd. (BPL) Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop, finance, build, own and operate a solar photovoltaic (solar PV) and energy storage plant or a hybrid power plant on North & Central Andros, North Eleuthera, South Eleuthera and Inagua.
In the end, six companies submitted bids for Inagua; five companies submitted bids for North & Central Andros, and ten companies each submitted for the other two locations, North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera. Based on the addresses given, four of the six companies to submit bids for Inagua are Bahamian, as are three of those who submitted for North & Central Andros and five each of those who submitted for North Eleuthera and South Eleuthera.
All told, a total of 45 submissions are being reviewed. That review is in advanced stages.
The RFP closed in July, and we anticipate awarding contracts in 2020, after thorough and exhaustive review.
The Bahamas National Energy Policy envisions a Bahamas at the forefront of global development and implementation of sustainable energy opportunities like solar power. The policy also posits that high electricity costs in The Bahamas could be mitigated by increasing the percentage of lower-cost renewable sources in our energy mix. Under the NEP, we are enabling consumers to generate their own energy to power their homes through solar, and through our Small Scale Renewable Generation (SSRG) programme, we are enabling that solar generation to be fed into the national grid.
In July 2019, BPL issued an RFP for Independent Power Providers to submit proposals to “develop, finance, build, own and operate” a solar PV and energy storage plant or a hybrid power plant on North & Central Andros, North Eleuthera, South Eleuthera and Inagua.
BPL’s goal is to transition the Family Islands from BPL-owned diesel power plants to a more diverse mix of renewable and sustainable generation from IPPs. This Solar RFP is the first phase in that transition.
We’ve asked the IPPs to provide Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) offers for terms of 25 years. For the islands in question (North & Central Andros, North Eleuthera, South Eleuthera and Inagua) three options were available for proposals, daytime energy production with no storage, baseload 24-hour production with storage and a hybrid of the two that allowed for higher daytime production with baseload production outside of daylight hours.
Pursuant to the PPA, the project company will develop, finance, build, own and operate the new generation facility and will sell power to BPL, as its sole and only customer, on an Energy Only (kWh) basis.
Our goal is that the proposed projects are commercially operable, including all facilities that are necessary to generate and deliver energy into the BPL grid, within nine months of Full Notice to Proceed. We’ve also made it clear that our preference is for use of local labor, goods and/or services sourced, in whole or in part, from one or more Bahamian businesses.
Under some of the options, we have mandated that capacity during both the daytime and 24-hour periods achieve at least 99% availability for dispatching schedules. Where technically, operationally, and financially practical, BPL is seeking to phase out diesel engine generation and therefore IPP power plants must provide the required availability to assist in meeting the load during the daytime dispatch and the 24-hr dispatch periods.
We have also mandated that site ownership must be transferred to BPL at the end of the contract period or upon the termination of the contract at fair market value for all offers, and that within a period of six years, at least 30% of the project must be owned by individual Bahamians or a Bahamian owned Company.