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Muni's RFP seeks BESS proposals to help it manage its load requirments

DW Keefer's picture
Journalist, Independent Journalist and Analyst

DW Keefer is a Denver-based energy journalist who writes extensively for national and international publications on all forms of electric power generation, utility regulation, business models...

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  • Jan 26, 2021

North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for battery storage, with 15-year contracts available for the delivery and operation of a turnkey energy storage system.

NCEMPA supplies 32 cities and towns in eastern North Carolina with electricity acquired from Duke Energy, which bought NCEMPA’s generation assets five years ago.

The group wants to reduce the amount of power it buys from the utility during peak demand periods, published reports said.  Duke Energy had originally objected to NCEMPA using battery storage as a form of demand response or demand side management. The utility claimed that the terms of a Full Requirements Power Purchase Agreement in place between the two prohibited it. However, after NCEMPA filed for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to intervene, FERC sided with the municipal power group and rejected the utility’s interpretation as being too “restrictive.”

The group is seeking competitive proposals for battery energy storage systems that can charge during off-peak periods and discharge during peak load periods to reduce coincident peak hour demands.

As part of its RFP, NCEMPA is seeking pricing for six different configurations of BESS, in 5 MW and 10 MW rated output with anywhere from 10 MWh to 40 MWh of capacity and with 2-4 hours of storage duration. Vendors will be expected to deliver a turnkey BESS system, including design, engineering, permitting and other duties, for the project to reach commercial operations no later than Dec. 1, 2022.

A pre-bid meeting will be held on January 28 and the RFP must be responded to by March 11. In addition to paying for the BESS system, NCEMPA is also offering 15-year fixed rate contracts for energy capacity guaranteed and for the system’s long-term service agreement.


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