May 2012 Renewable Auction Mechanism

San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is issuing this second Request for Offers (RFO) in support of its Renewable Auction Mechanism (RAM).  This RFO is issued to solicit offers from eligible energy generators (Respondents). By responding, Respondents are bound by the terms of this RFO.

The RAM, approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in Decision D.10-12-048 (RAM Decision) and Resolution E-4414 (RAM Resolution), supplements the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), complements the California Solar Initiative, promotes small-scale renewable development and may present local employment potential in California.  SDG&E’s RAM program incorporates the directives of both the RAM Decision and RAM Resolution, along with recent changes adopted by the Commission in Resolution E-4489 and Decision D.12-02-22.  SDG&E’s RAM program is designed to procure a total of 155 MWs over the course of four solicitations.  SDG&E’s first RAM solicitation, held in November of 2011, resulted in the procurement of 15 MWs, leaving 140 MWs to procure over the course of the next three solicitations. 

SDG&E intends to procure 45 MWs during this solicitation pursuant to 10, 15 and 20-year RAM Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with Independent Power Producers.  SDG&E is not requesting bids for renewable energy credits, feed-in-tariff projects or other RPS procurement activities that exist or are being contemplated. 

Winning Respondents shall enter into a non-negotiable PPA for bundled renewable energy deliveries from eligible renewable resources that can meet the criteria described in the RFO document (provided below).

Solicitation Protocols:

Details regarding the solicitation process and eligibility requirements are provided in the RFO document below.

Required Forms and Documents

Respondents may submit offers to this solicitation by submitting the forms listed below. Forms are available on the RFO Website. The failure to provide the required information may result in the offer being deemed non-conforming and may disqualify the offer from further consideration.

  • Project Description Form (doc)
    Submit one per project.

  • Pricing Form – may submit two per project (one showing Energy Only pricing and another showing Full Capacity Deliverability Status pricing)

    [Note: The Pricing Forms for the 2012 RPS RAM RFO posted from May 1 to May 11, 2012 had some technical problems which prevented the proper calculation of the Deliverability Value and Deliverability Adder.  Although this problem will not have an effect on SDG&E’s evaluation process, it will prevent bidders from knowing the values that will be applied to their bids in that process.  The versions of the Pricing Forms shown here have been corrected as of 5/14/2012.]

    1. Off-Peak and/or Baseload Form (xlsx)

    2. Peak Form (xlsx)

  • Site Control Documentation

  • Copy of most recently completed interconnection study or results from the Fast Track process.

  • Model PPA (doc) - The Model PPA includes some terms that provide options (e.g. 10, 15, or 20 year term).  Respondent should provide a redline of the Model PPA that reflects the attributes of their proposed project by selecting the correct options.  Terms that do not provide options are non-modifiable.

All offers must be uploaded to the RFO Website no later than Noon, local prevailing time, on the CLOSING DATE (see RFO Schedule below). The Project Description Form and Model PPA must be in Word or Word-compatible format (not in PDF). The Pricing Forms must be in Excel or Excel-compatible format (not in PDF). The copy of completed Interconnection Study and Site Control Documentation must be in PDF format.

RFO Communication

All questions or other communications regarding this RFO should be submitted via e-mail to [email protected]. All questions and answers will be posted on this website anonymously. SDG&E will not accept questions or comments in any other form, except during the pre-bid conference. Respondents are encouraged to check this RFO Website periodically for updates, notices, and postings.

Pre-Bid Conference

SDG&E held its pre-bid conference on May 7, 2012 from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM in San Diego, California at 8326 Century Park Court, Building 6 (Seminar Rooms).  The materials for the conference are posted below.

Participation in the pre-bid conference is NOT mandatory in order to submit an offer.

RFO Announcements

Please check this website periodically as SDG&E will post all solicitation announcements, including scheduling changes or RFO amendments if any.

Register to Submit Offers

Any party interested in submitting an offer must register on the RFO Website and upload the offer. To register, respondents must fill-out and email an RFO Registration Form to  [email protected]

The deadline to register is May 25th.

SDG&E will process the form and provide the interested party instructions necessary to upload offers.  A username/password combination will be issued allowing access to the offer upload link. All offers must be uploaded to the RFO Website no later than Noon, local prevailing time, on the CLOSING DATE (see RFO Schedule).

If Respondents encounter technical difficulties with the uploading process, they should provide evidence of such difficulties (e.g. a screen shot of the error message) and email the bid to the RFO inbox by 1:00 p.m., local prevailing time, on the Closing Date. 

If the Respondent encounters technical difficulties with both the uploading process and the RFO inbox, they should provide evidence of such difficulties (e.g. a screen shot of the error message or a sent email notice with a time stamp before 1:00 p.m. on the Closing Date) and submit a hard copy and a CD of the bid package to SDG&E and the Independent Evaluator at the addresses below by close of business on the day following the Closing Date.

San Diego Gas & Electric Company
Electric and Gas Procurement Department
Attn: RAM Solicitation
8315 Century Park Court, CP-21D
San Diego, CA 92123-1548


Barbara Sands
PA Consulting Group
1700 Lincoln Street Suite 4600
Denver, CO 80203

RAM Schedule

The following schedule and deadlines apply to this RFO. SDG&E reserves the right to revise this schedule at anytime and at SDG&E's sole discretion. Respondents are responsible for accessing the RFO website for updated schedules and possible amendments to the RFO or the solicitation process.





RFO Issued

May 1, 2012


Pre-bidders Conference

May 7, 2012


SDG&E begins accepting bids

May 15, 2012



Question submittal cut-off date

Answers to all questions will be posted on the website no later than 5/23/12

May 18,2012



Those intending to bid must register to receive a username/password in order to upload electronic ofers.

May 25, 2012



May 31, 2012



August 16, 2012



Letter due from Winning bidders indicating:

  • Withdrawal from SDG&E's solicitation OR
  • Accetance of standing as a winning bid; withdrawal of participating in any other solicitation and evidence of withdrawal notice to all other solicitors.

August 27,2012


SDG&E issues appreciation notices to unsuccessful respondents

September 27, 2012


Executes PPAs for targeted 20MW

September 27, 2012


SDG&E submits Tier 2 Advice letter with PPAs to CPUC for approval

November 9, 2012


Anticipated CPUC aproval

(prior to any appeal and/or suspension)

December 10,2012

Q&A from RAM Pre-Bid Conference 5/7/2012

1. What if a developer is using products and services from Diverse Business Enterprises (DBEs)?  Are credits given? 

SDG&E is working with the CPUC to give greater credit for DBE products and services.  At this time, no preference is given to products and services. 

2.   Does having Diverse Business Enterprise certification help?  

See page 19 of the RFO document regarding details of DBE certification.  At this time, if all things are equal between two Power Purchase Agreements, but one is 51% owned by a woman, minority or disabled veteran, the “DBE contract” would be given preference over a non-DBE owned project as a “tie” breaker.   The project must be competitive on all other grounds.

3. Why does slide 14 of the bid conference presentation say that SDG&E is aiming to complete PPAs by March 2012?

This is a typo.  SDG&E intends to complete PPAs by Sept. 2012.

4. Will SDG&E host RAM RFOs periodically?

Yes, two more RAM auctions are scheduled, one in November of this year and one in May of 2013.

5.  Is SDG&E looking for more MWs in this RFO compared with last year’s RFO? 

SDG&E targeted 20 MW during the November RAM RFO, and is now targeting 45 MW during the May RAM RFO.

6. Is SDG&E only looking for biomass and geothermal in the baseload category?

No, see slide 16 of the bidder’s conference presentation for details of what projects qualify for each product category.  SDG&E is soliciting bids for biomass, geothermal, wind, solar, and other technologically proven generation.

7. Must a bidder be CEC eligible and when?  

The bidder should apply for a CEC “precertification” prior to bidding, but this is not required.  See page 8 of the RFO document for more details.  The resource must be CEC-certifiable as an eligible renewable resource.  Certification occurs after the developer reaches commercial operation.

8.  How does SDG&E measure the 20 MW size?

Projects cannot exceed 20 MWs of nameplate capacity as measured in alternating current (“ac”).  DC-rated bids will not be accepted.

9.  When determining what makes a distinct project, is land the limiting factor or is it different interconnections?  Can a project be divided into more than one separate project?

A project is considered distinct from another project if the projects have no shared facilities, including separate interconnection requests and separate CAISO meters.  In addition, projects with no shared facilities that are located on contiguous pieces of land will be ineligible unless the total combined nameplate capacity of both projects is 20 MWs or less.  

10. If you have a 125 MW project, must it all be sold to SDG&E?

This project would not qualify for the RAM because it exceeds the 20 MW capacity limit.  For projects that are eligible for the RAM, the entire output must be dedicated to SDG&E.  The RAM RFO states that “[r]esources must sell its entire output to SDG&E.  Selling partial output from a large system shall not be permitted” (See RAM RFO Section 3.0(A) regarding Participation and Eligibility Criteria).  This requirement was established by the CPUC in the RAM Decision (See D.10-12-048, Section 8.2). 

11.   Can you offer projects that provide both a peaking and a non-peaking profile?

Two offers (options) can be made, but the bidder should clearly indicate how the two bids are related and if only one can be accepted.  If one option is accepted and another on the same property is not, the first may be rejected if they cannot be separated into two.  Only one pricing option per operating profile is allowed.

12. Can a developer bid a new addition to an existing baseload facility?

Yes, the new capacity is eligible as long as the new total nameplate capacity of the facility does not exceed the 20 MW cap and meets all other RAM criteria. 

13.  What are the aggregation rules?

You can aggregate up to 10 (500 KW minimum) projects.  See section 3 of the RFO document for more details.

14.   What if the nameplate capacity is 35 MW but after the inverter it is reduced to 20 MW? 

The size needs to be measured after inverter, and must be AC 20 MW or less.

15.   Can we refinance an existing facility and bid into the RAM?

Yes you can bid a refinanced existing facility.

16.  Can we bid fully deliverable or energy only? 

Bidders may provide bids for energy only projects or fully deliverable projects, or they may provide an energy only option and a fully deliverable option for the same project. 

17.   What does it mean to be fully deliverable (FCDS)?

To be fully deliverable, a project must have a deliverability study from the CAISO that shows it is deliverable through the transmission system. An “Energy only” study only indicates whether the generator can be interconnected safely, not that it flows over the system. Please visit CAISO website for additional information: (

18. Is there added value if the peaker has backup firming?  

A gas fired peaker does not qualify for the RAM as it is not a renewable resource.

19.  What about using battery backup charged by a solar facility? 

The most recently posted revision of the Renewables Portfolio Standard Eligibility Fifth Edition Lead Commissioner Draft Guidebook states on page 10 that “Methods of storing renewable energy that are integrated into the electrical generation facility as part of the generation process, such as thermal energy storage at a solar thermal facility, are considered part of the electrical generation facility and not a separate, independent storage facility for the purpose of RPS eligibility.”  As long as the nameplate capacity of the facility – including battery storage capacity – does not exceed the 20 MW threshold, and the project meets all CEC eligibility requirements, battery storage may be used.

20. Can the project change hands once the project is online?

Yes, with restrictions.  See the RAM PPA for assignment provisions. 

21. Do the projects have to be in-state?

The projects not only have to be in-state, but also have to be located within the service territories of PG&E, SCE, or SDG&E.  Projects located in IID, for example, are not eligible.

22.  Do you evaluate the bids based on developers’ experience?

Respondents must meet the requirements for developer experience set forth in Section 3 of the RAM RFO.  The evaluation process does not distinguish between levels of developer experience, as long as the minimum criteria are met.

23. How is RAM different than FIT?

The Fit (feed in tariff) is available to projects sized at 1.5 MWs and below (and will soon change to 3 MWs and below).  The FIT provides a set price, which is currently the Market Price Referent (“MPR”), but is expected to change to a new pricing structure within the next few months.  The FIT has no RFO evaluation process and is first come first serve. 

24.  What is the purpose of the Independent Evaluator?

The purpose of the Independent Evaluator is to review all bids and ensure that the evaluation process is run fairly.

25.  What happens if less than the full amount of the solicited capacity is contracted?

If the capacity amount contracted for in this RAM process is less than the targeted level, the balance flows to the next RAM RFO.  The last RAM RFO resulted in less than the 20 MW requested, and the remainder has been rolled into future RAM solicitations.

26. What are other differences between this RAM and the last?

SDG&E has made many changes to the RAM process since the November solicitation.  These changes are summarized in SDG&E’s advice letter 2349-E which was filed with the CPUC on April 26th and is attached below for your reference. 

27. Does SDG&E use the same deliverability adder for all projects? 

No, SDG&E uses a different deliverability adder depending on where the project is located and the project generation profile.  Preference is given to projects that can provide local Resource Adequacy (“RA”), which is more valuable to SDG&E than system RA.   See pages 17 – 19 of the RFO document for more details.

28. How do you calculate an internal rate of return?

SDG&E uses an internal rate of return (IRR) of 8.4%.

29. Can you have 2 contracts, one for energy, and one for RA?

A contract with an energy-only provider does not lay claim to any RA attributes that the project may provide.  Any proposals for resource adequacy products from a renewable project would have to be bid into a separate RFO for resource adequacy and be evaluated against other resource adequacy bids. 

30. Can we get information regarding the pricing of successful RAM bids?

According to CPUC rules for confidentiality, RAM bid prices are confidential for 3 years.  The RAM contracts from the previous 2011 RAM RFO were approved by the CPUC on May 3, 2012,  so those prices are not yet public.

31. What do we fill out in the PPA? 

Please fill out all blanks and appendices, including the amount of security, contract term, capacity and price, and strike non-applicable items.

32. Can the equipment be under a 20 yr lease? 

There is no restriction on using a long term lease, but it must cover the term of the contract.

33.  Can we fill out two pricing forms?

Yes, bidders can provide two pricing forms per project; one option for energy only, and one for full deliverability.  Please provide only one price for each option.

34.   What is distribution level interconnection?

SDG&E’s distribution level is 12.47 kV and below.   More information about the distribution level interconnection process can be found at:

35.   How do we lower our interconnection costs?

See  to get access to SDG&E’s interactive map of its distribution system, which is intended to give developers an idea of areas that may not require expensive upgrades.  The closer the project is to a substation, the better the chance that the project will have lower costs of interconnection. 

36. We have an existing gas generator and want to install a solar field.  If the interconnection capacity increases, then must we do a new study?

Yes.  Any time you change your technology or increase your generation production, a new study will need to be performed and new interconnection agreements will need to be signed.  Please submit the proposal to SDG&E if it is distribution level.  For transmission level projects, you must submit the proposal to CAISO to determine whether the change is considered a “material modification”. 

37. We have an existing 1.5 MW interconnection agreement and are currently using only 1 MW of that capacity.  Can we offer a project for the additional 500kV? 

This question cannot be answered without a detailed project-specific study.  There are many technical considerations, such adjacent projects, technology and integration risks, and other factors which could render such a proposal non-viable. 

Questions and Answers 5/10/12 - 5/12/12

When will you be posting the materials from the bid conference on the RFO website? 

Please visit:


Please provide us access to the required application forms for us to be able to submit our proposals to you.

Please visit:


Can you please specify which sections of the RAM PPA you would like us to fill out?

Please visit:

The Model PPA includes some terms that provide options (e.g. 10, 15, or 20 year term).  Respondent should provide a redline of the Model PPA that reflects the attributes of their proposed project by selecting the correct options.  Terms that do not provide options are non-modifiable.

[email protected]

When will the login information be available?

Please review the RFO document, page 12: To register, Respondents must fill-out and email an RFO Registration Form (available from the RFO Website) to [email protected]  SDG&E will process the form and provide the interested party instructions necessary to upload offers. A username/password combination will be issued allowing access to the offer upload link.


Please verify we do not need to provide an Option to Lease until PPA approval if this is the form of our site control documentation.

Please review the RFO document, page 9: The Respondent must have, at time of bidding, site control for the duration of 10, 15 or 20-year power purchase agreement. A copy of one of the following forms of site control must be provided:

  1. direct ownership

  2. a lease

  3. an option to lease or purchase upon PPA approval. The option must be an exclusive option to the Bidder that will last until the completion of the RFO cycle.

Can you clarify the rationale for why an Energy Only project will be required to bear a Deliverability Adder in the bid ranking methodology when, by definition, it is not representing that it will provide deliverability to SDG&E?

This is done so that SDG&E can make a meaningful comparison between Energy Only projects and projects that commit to providing Full Deliverability.  Energy-only projects do not provide the capacity-related benefits that are measured by deliverability; their bid ranking prices are adjusted upward by the Deliverability Adder to show the value to SDG&E that is foregone by accepting an Energy-Only bid over a bid with Full Deliverability.  In contrast, Full Deliverability (FCDS) bidders do not receive an adder, but will suffer from a deduction of their Deliverability Value in their PPA prices if full deliverability is not achieved by contract start.


For all those submitting a FCDS product: Does SDG&E use the developer’s assumption for FCDS status timing (i.e. 2019), or does SDG&E default to using 12/31/2021 across the portfolio?

Please see the RFO document, page 5: For FCDS bids, Respondents must: (1) have obtained or plan to obtain a deliverability study from the CAISO to determine what, if any, upgrades are required for the project to achieve FCDS; and (2) provide a date by which FCDS will be obtained. If the Respondent has obtained a deliverability study for the project, the Respondent must use the estimated completion date for deliverability upgrades that is provided in the study. If the Respondent has not obtained a deliverability study for the project, SDG&E will assume that the project will achieve FCDS on 1/1/2022. SDG&E will incorporate the value of obtaining FCDS in its evaluation process as described in Section 5.


If I have a project that will have COD by 2014 and achieve FCDS by 2019, for those intervening years (2015-2019) will only the EO TOD factors apply to the project?

Please see the RFO document, page 10: For FCDS projects, the PPA will provide an energy price adjusted by TOD factors that include the value of FCDS. The TOD adjusted price will then be reduced by the Deliverability Value as calculated in section 5.D, until the project achieves FCDS. Once the project achieves FCDS, the Deliverability Value will be added back to the TOD-adjusted energy price. For Energy Only projects, the PPA will provide an energy price adjusted by TOD factors that do not include the value of FCDS.


Is a DUNS number required for the Seller?

SDG&E does not require a DUNS number for the Seller.


1.40 MB
May 2012 RAM RFO
May 2012 RAM RFO
43.93 KB
Project Description Form
Project Description Form
53.83 KB
Off-Peak and/or Baseload Form
Off-Peak and/or Baseload Form
53.57 KB
Peak Form
Peak Form
176.08 KB
Model PPA
Model PPA
2.17 MB
Pre-bid Conference Presentation
Pre-bid Conference Presentation
77.00 KB
RFO Registration Form
RFO Registration Form