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PacifiCorp Readies Huge Solicitation for Renewables, Energy Storage

Utility group PacifiCorp is about to open a gusher of opportunity for wind, solar and energy storage developers in the Pacific Northwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

Last year PacifiCorp finalized a landmark integrated resource plan (IRP) that for the first time envisions it relying on large amounts of wind farms and solar backed by energy storage to meet its long-range energy needs.

Now the utility, part of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, is preparing a solicitation for projects to meet that plan’s needs through 2024, taking a concrete step toward its vision.

For renewables developers, several things stand out about PacifiCorp’s upcoming solicitation. First and most obviously, “it’s just so large,” Gray said.  PacifiCorp’s IRP preferred portfolio includes 1,823 megawatts of new solar resources co-located with 595 megawatts of new battery energy storage system capacity, and 1,920 megawatts of new wind resources — all by the end of 2023.

PacifiCorp’s IRP identifies Wyoming as the likely site of most of its new wind power, where new transmission lines are being built to capture the state’s high wind potential, including Rocky Mountain Power’s Gateway West project.

PacifiCorp is targeting Utah for the largest portion of its solar development, followed by Wyoming, Oregon and Washington.

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