The power utility's latest initiative to procure another utility-scale renewable energy power plant appears to have been stalled as the Office of Public Accountability oversees a protest appeal filed by one of the interested companies.
The procurement is the third phase in a series of renewable energy projects by the Guam Power Authority, and would include battery storage technology that could help power the system at night. Phase III would use U.S. Navy properties at Naval Base Guam and South Finegayan.
GlidePath Marianas Operations Inc. filed an appeal at the OPA in November 2019 after its bid protest to GPA was denied in October 2019. The company now operates the Dandan solar power plant, formerly operated by NRG Renew LLC, a subsidiary of NRG Energy Inc.
ENGIE Solar was the company awarded the project.
Argument: Winning bidder didn’t comply with technical requirements
In its appeal, GlidePath argued that GPA is ignoring that ENGIE's proposals didn’t comply with the bid request’s technical requirements, and that acceptance of the bid prejudices the people of Guam by allowing what is effectively a sole-source procurement for a project worth nearly $200 million over its 20-year lifetime.
According to GlidePath, ENGIE proposed a solar energy system that exceeds the bid request’s 20.7 megawatt peak (MWp) – a measurement of the peak maximum generation capabilities of the system.
"Most frustrating about GPA's failures in this procurement is the fact that GlidePath noted in its technical proposal and elsewhere in its interactions with GPA that a lower cost to the people of Guam may be possible if the limits on solar capacity were eased," the OPA appeal stated.
GPA: Protesting firm is misreading the bid request
GPA contends ENGIE's bids were responsive and that the bid request didn’t limit the solar capacity of the photovoltaic installation to 20.7 MWp but does restrict the export capacity of energy to 30MW.
GlidePath also submitted a second protest to GPA in November 2019 and is waiting on the results so the matters may be consolidated.
A status hearing was conducted on Jan. 2. GPA attorney Graham Botha said a decision on the second protest could be made by the end of the following week, which would then give GlidePath 15 days to determine whether it would appeal that decision as well.
GlidePath doesn’t expect the decision to be favorable and was given up to Jan. 21 to submit the follow-up appeal.
Attorney Joshua Walsh, representing GlidePath, said the parties could generate a joint scheduling proposal and work to consolidate the record.
GPA General Manager John Benavente said discussions with all parties are still ongoing. "At this time, there is nothing final, no decision to report,” he said.