At its February 26 board meeting, the GCEA Board directed staff to issue a request for proposal (RFP) for a solar consultant. By engaging a consultant with experience in site selection and permitting, GCEA believes it can move more quickly to one or more large-scale solar projects locally.
GCEA’s annual kilowatt-hour sales rank it number 21 out of 22 rural electric cooperatives in the state. Given the small electric load served by GCEA, the term large-scale solar must be clarified. Across most of its service area, the largest array that can be connected to GCEA’s lines is 1,000 kW (1 megawatt). In a much more limited area, up to 2 megawatts is possible.
GCEA worked unsuccessfully with a solar developer beginning in 2018. Consequently, GCEA has been striving to move the ball forward with its in-house staff since then. There are currently six sites under review, but the limited available staff time prohibits GCEA from moving forward as fast as it would like. In addition, members are bringing additional recommendations to the table. Hiring a consultant will bring additional manpower and expertise to the effort.
We now have six consultants that have indicated their intent to submit proposals for solar site analysis and selection services. The deadline for proposals is Monday, June 15.