Maine biomass procurement competitive standards

Thursday, May 19, 2016

As the Maine Public Utilities Commission prepares for its upcoming procurement of biomass power resources, the Commission has requested public comment on the standards and criteria to be used in evaluating whether the solicitation is "not competitive."

This spring, the Maine State Legislature enacted An Act To Establish a Process for the Procurement of Biomass Resources.  The law directs the Maine Public Utilities Commission to initiate a competitive solicitation as soon as practicable, seeking proposals for 2-year contracts for up to 80 megawatts of biomass resources.  

But largely due to fairness and cost-containment concerns, the legislature created a "safety valve" in case the solicitation turns out to be "not competitive."  The Act specifies that “If the commission concludes that the solicitation ... is not competitive, no bidders may be selected and the commission is not obligated to enter into a contract.”

On May 17, 2016, the Commission issued a request for comment in its Procurement of Biomass Resources docket.  That request describes the Commission's plans to initiate the procurement process "in the near future" through the issuance of a request for proposals or RFP.  But before issuing the RFP, the Commission has requested comment on the standards and criteria to be used to determine whether the solicitation is “not competitive” pursuant to the Act.

Comments are requested by May 30, 2016.

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