The PV projects must have a capacity of at least 50MW. Image: National Grid Renewables.

US utility Appalachian Power has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 150MW of solar in West Virginia with an option to include battery energy storage systems (BESS).

The American Electric Power subsidiary said the plants must have a capacity of at least 50MW, be operational by no later than December 2025 and be interconnected to regional transmission organisation PJM.

The utility is looking to acquire the solar projects through one or more purchase and sale agreements from developers, with proposals required to be submitted by the end of March 2022.

Appalachian Power has issued the RFP as part of the provisions of a West Virginia bill that was passed in 2020 to further the development of renewables plants in the state.

As defined by that legislation, preference will be given to RFP submissions located on sites such as property previously used in electric generation, former industrial or mining sites and closed landfills.

The new RFP is Appalachian Power’s second following the West Virginia legislation, according to Chris Beam, the company’s chief operating officer. “Our first request resulted in a signed contract for a 50MW solar project in Berkeley County, and we are ready and eager to build on that success,” he said.  

Appalachian Power unveiled plans last month to acquire or contract for 294MW of solar PV over the next three years as it transitions towards net zero by 2050. The company expects to add around 3.3GW of solar and 2.6GW of energy storage by 2040.

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