Established in 2009 pursuant to 30 V.S.A. § 8005a, the standard-offer program promotes the rapid deployment of small renewable generation.
Under the program, Vermont distribution utilities are required to buy renewable power from an eligible generator at a specified price for a specified period of time. Program costs are distributed among Vermont utilities based on their pro rata share of electric sales. The program is administered by VEPP Inc., the statewide purchasing agent (“Standard Offer Facilitator”) appointed by the Vermont Public Utility Commission.
Eligible plants can be no larger than 2.2 MW in size and include the following technologies: solar; wind with a capacity of 100 kW or smaller (“small wind”); wind with a capacity greater than 100 kW up to 2.2 MW (“large wind”); farm methane; landfill methane; food waste anaerobic digestion; biomass; and hydroelectric.
The standard-offer program was created with a 50 MW initial program capacity that was expanded to 127.5 MW in 2012. The available program capacity is incrementally awarded to new plants until the 127.5 MW program capacity is reached. The 2022 RFP is the last annual increase contemplated in the statute. Thus, the 2022 RFP will include all the unused 127.5 MW cumulative plant capacity identified at the issuance of the RFP. A specific portion of each year’s capacity is reserved for plants proposed by Vermont utilities and is referred to as the Provider Block, with the remainder referred to as the Developer Block. Farm methane plants remain outside the program capacity cap (i.e., no restrictions on the number of plants that can participate in the program).
Since 2013, pursuant to the authority of Title 30 V.S.A. § 8005a(f)(1), the Commission has issued an annual request for proposals (“RFP”) to fill the available annual capacity under the program. Issued by the Standard Offer Facilitator, this annual RFP specifies annual program capacity, technology allocations, and price caps. Under the RFP, lowest-priced proposals are awarded annual capacity.
Contact us at Meghan@veppi.org for further information.