Request for Qualifications (LRP I RFQ) FAQs

Request for Qualifications (LRP I RFQ)
To the extent that there is any conflict or inconsistency between the FAQs and the LRP I RFQ, Glossary of Terms, or Prescribed Forms, the FAQs will be subordinate to the LRP I RFQ, Glossary of Terms or Prescribed Forms.

Unless otherwise stated, all capitalized terms used in these FAQs will have the meaning specified in the LRP I RFQ Glossary of Terms.

These FAQs are categorized by:


Process

1.1  If an RFQ Applicant is not able to assemble a Qualification Submission in time for the September 4, 2014 Qualification Submission Deadline, will there be other opportunities to participate in the LRP?
Yes. The OPA has been directed to run a subsequent LRP round in 2015. Additionally, the OPA may run a third round of the LRP in 2016 if there is unused capacity from the 2014 and 2015 rounds.

1.2   Can an RFQ Applicant make amendments to a submitted Qualification Submission, and if so, when?
RFQ Applicants may make amendments to a submitted Qualification Submission at any time prior to the Qualification Submission Deadline (specified in Section 2.2 of the LRP I RFQ) using the Prescribed Form – Qualification Submission Amendment or Withdrawal. If an amendment is being made to a submitted Qualification Submission, the RFQ Applicant must identify specifically what part of the Qualification Submission the amendment is being made to. The RFQ Applicant must also do the following before the Qualification Submission Deadline:

  1. The Prescribed Form – Qualification Submission Amendment or Withdrawal must be sent by email to LRP@ieso.ca

  2. A hard copy of both the Prescribed Form – Qualification Submission Amendment or Withdrawal must be sent to the OPA along with any hard copy materials that are intended to replace materials that had been previously submitted. Both the Prescribed Form and the new materials should prominently be marked “Original Copy.”

  3. Submit seven additional collated copies of the hardcopy evidence/material which are to supplement or replace materials that have already been submitted, and one electronic version of such hardcopy evidence/material provided on a CD/DVD-ROM or flash drive

Any notice of amendment must be sent from the individual listed as Primary Contact of the RFQ Applicant on the Qualification Submission. RFQ Applicants will not be permitted to amend a Qualification Submission after the Qualification Submission Deadline has passed.

1.3    Q: Can an RFQ Applicant withdraw a Qualification Submission?
RFQ Applicants can withdraw a Qualification Submission at any time by emailing notice of the withdrawal to LRP@ieso.ca using the Prescribed Form – Qualification Submission Amendment or Withdrawal. Any notice of withdrawal must be sent from an individual listed as a Primary Contact of the RFQ Applicant on the Qualification Submission.

The Qualification Submission Fee will be returned for a Qualification Submission that is withdrawn before the Qualification Submission Deadline.

The Qualification Submission Fee will NOT be returned for a Qualification Submission that is withdrawn after the Qualification Submission Deadline has passed.

1.4  Can I apply through the My FIT Home Page?
No. The Large Renewable Procurement (LRP) is a completely separate procurement process from the Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program and is for larger renewable energy projects than is permitted in FIT. RFQ Applicants must follow the procedures set out in the LRP I RFQ and in the developing LRP I RFP to participate in the process.

For more information on the Feed-in Tariff Program please visit the FIT Website fit.powerauthority.on.ca/what-feed-tariff-program.

1.5  What is the Site Registration process and when will it be run?
The OPA is currently anticipating running a Site Registration process between the conclusion of the LRP I RFQ and the proposal submission deadline of the LRP I RFP. The Site Registration process would require Qualified Applicants to submit to the OPA the list of sites on which they intend to propose projects in the LRP I RFP.

1.6  Will the OPA conduct information sessions with Qualified Applicants?
The method and manner in which the OPA communicates with Qualified Applicants as part of the RFP stage is still being determined.


Qualification Submission Evaluation

2.1  How will the OPA consider RFQ Applicants with multiple Control Group Members?
If an RFQ Applicant has multiple Control Group Members, such as in the case of a joint venture, the RFQ Applicant would be able to use the Development Experience of those groups to provide evidence of the Development Experience of the RFQ Applicant.

In any case when a Control Group Member is used to demonstrate the Development Experience of the RFQ Applicant, the Qualification Submission must identify the Control Group Member and include an organizational chart showing the control relationship between the two parties

2.2  If an RFQ Applicant is attempting to qualify for multiple Renewable Fuels, why do the Renewable Fuels need to be ranked in a specific order?
If an RFQ Applicant wishes to qualify for multiple Renewable Fuels, the RFQ Applicant is required to rank them in the order in which it wishes the OPA to determine whether the RFQ Applicant meets the Mandatory Requirements for the proposed aggregate number of MW and Large Renewable Projects for that specific Renewable Fuel. In certain cases, an RFQ Applicant may qualify to propose some, but not all, of the Renewable Fuels included in its Qualification Submission.

For example, if an RFQ Applicant has proposed 20 MW of Rooftop Solar and 20 MW of Non-Rooftop Solar, their Designated Equity Provider may have enough Tangible Net Worth to qualify for the 20 MW of Rooftop Solar, but not enough to qualify for the full 40 MW of the two Renewable Fuels combined. In this case, the RFQ Applicant would rank which of the Renewable Fuel they wish the OPA to evaluate (and qualify the RFQ Applicant for) first.

2.3  Why is there a 20% cap on the increase in aggregate MW between RFQ and RFP?
At the RFQ stage, RFQ Applicants may not have determined the final size of their proposed project(s), and project plans may be further refined as more due diligence, including community engagement, is performed as part of the RFP phase. The ability to increase the size by 20% between the RFQ and RFP is considered a reasonable amount of flexibility between project information that can and should be determined at the RFQ stage vs. at the RFP.

2.4  Can a Qualified Applicant propose fewer MW or Large Renewable Projects at the RFP stage than they initially qualified for under the RFQ?
Yes.
 

Development Experience

3.1   Are changes to the RFQ Applicant Team permitted between the RFQ and RFP? If so, how are these changes to be identified to the OPA?
The RFQ is intended to qualify RFQ Applicants and their proposed RFQ Applicant Team. Changes may occur between the RFQ stage and the RFP stage. However, any changes that are proposed to the RFQ Applicant Team must continue to meet the minimum Mandatory Requirements. The OPA will be reviewing any team changes with this in mind. Any RFQ Applicant or member of an RFQ Applicant Team that no longer meets the Mandatory Requirements will be rejected.

The RFQ Applicant will identify any changes to the RFQ Applicant Team in its LRP I RFP proposal and declare that the changed RFQ Applicant Team continues to meet the Mandatory Requirements. The OPA will then review the revised RFQ Applicant Team to ensure it continues to meet the Mandatory Requirements.

3.2   Will Qualification Submissions from Special Purpose Entities (SPEs) be evaluated differently?
No. While the OPA encourages RFQ Applicants to be the parent company (Control Group Member), a Qualification Submission from an SPE (such as a limited partnership) will not be evaluated differently than any other submission. However, RFQ Applicants are cautioned that using an SPE for the RFQ may restrict them from performing further legal restructuring at the RFP phase.

3.3   Does a team member with Ontario experience need to be Canadian or located in Canada?
No. There is no requirement for any members of the RFQ Applicant Team to be Canadian or to be located in Canada. Where Ontario experience is required – in recognition that there are aspects to renewable project development that are unique to Ontario – this experience must have been obtained in a managerial capacity in Ontario.

Please refer to Appendix B of the LRP I RFQ for further details on which aspects of Development Experience need to have been obtained in Ontario.

3.3   Why does experience Developing Large Renewable Projects need to be attained in Ontario?
The definition of “Developing” includes experience with permitting and environmental approval processes that are unique to Ontario. It also requires experience in undertaking the procedural aspects of consultation with Aboriginal communities that are required to support the Crown’s duty to consult obligations. This experience is generally gained as a result of successfully completing the relevant permitting and approval processes related to project development. To help ensure that Qualified Applicants have experience with these important aspects of developing large renewable energy projects in Ontario, the requirement to have “Developing” experience in Ontario has been established for the RFQ Applicant.

3.4   Do Designated Team Members need Development Experience in all of the categories of Planning, Developing, Financing, Constructing and Operating to be eligible?
No. A Designated Team Member need only have Development Experience in one of the experience categories to qualify for that portion of Development Experience. Where Development Experience is required across multiple categories, RFQ Applicants can identify either one or more individuals with experience in one, some, or all categories.

3.5   Can an RFQ Applicant show more than the required minimum number of Similar or Comparable Facilities to show evidence of previous Development Experience?
Yes, RFQ Applicants will be able to identify more than the required minimum number of facilities to show evidence of Development Experience. The requirements described in Appendix B of the LRP I RFQ are mandatory minimum requirements only.

3.6   How will the OPA treat the project value of a Large Complex Infrastructure Project that was completed in the past?
The OPA will permit the project value of a Large Complex Infrastructure Project to be inflated commensurate with historical inflation to assess the value of the project in 2014 dollars.

RFQ Applicants must use CPI (which means the consumer price index for “All Items” published or established by Statistics Canada (or its successor) for any relevant calendar month in relation to the Province of Ontario) to adjust the project value of a Large Complex Infrastructure Project.
 
 
Tangible Net Worth

4.1  Are commitment letters provided by Designated Equity Providers in the LRP I RFQ binding?
No, once an RFQ Applicant has been deemed to be a Qualified Applicant by the OPA, they are permitted to change their Designated Equity Provider(s). Any changes to the Designated Equity Provider(s), however, must be identified to the OPA if a proposal is submitted at the RFP stage. The OPA will then revaluate the Tangible Net Worth of the new Designated Equity Provider(s) to ensure they meet the minimum Tangible Net Worth requirements.

4.2  How is Tangible Net Worth (TNW) calculated?
TNW is calculated as follows:

(The sum of capital stock, preferred stock, paid-in capital, contributed surplus, retained earnings, capital reserves and cumulative translation adjustment (whether positive or negative))

minus

(The sum of any amounts shown on account of any common stock reacquired by the Designated Equity Provider or guarantor as applicable, patents, patent applications, service marks, industrial designs, copyrights, trademarks and trade names, and licenses, prepaid assets, goodwill and all other intangibles).

 
Prescribed Forms

5.1  Are changes permitted to the Prescribed Forms?
No. Apart from the completion of any blanks, excel fields, bullets or similar uncompleted information in the Prescribed Forms, no changes may be made to the pre-printed wording of the Prescribed Forms but copies may be made of the forms if more space is required.

Please note that two of the Prescribed Forms (the Prescribed Form – RFQ Applicant and Tangible Net Worth and, the Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience) are in Microsoft Excel format. These Prescribed Forms must be submitted as Microsoft Excel spreadsheets in the digital/electronic copy of the Qualification Submission that is submitted to the OPA. No other format will be accepted. If additional space is required in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet versions of the forms, the RFQ Applicant should attach an additional Microsoft Excel file and indicate to the OPA that they have done so for this reason.

5.2  How should the Microsoft Excel Prescribed Forms be filled out?
The Prescribed Form – RFQ Applicant and Tangible Net Worth and Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience are to be submitted to the OPA in Microsoft Excel format in the digital/electronic copy of the Qualification Submission. No other format will be accepted. They are also to be printed out and included in the hard copy submission.

The RFQ Applicant should use these two Prescribed Forms in order to summarize the information that is contained in full in their Qualification Submission. These Prescribed forms should reference the section/page reference within the Qualification Submission where each piece of information can be found.

For example: One section of the Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience - asks the RFQ Applicant to identify information for Similar or Comparable Facilities for Designated Team Member Development Experience. In this section of the spreadsheet the RFQ Applicant would identify information about the Similar or Comparable Facility and what kind of Development Experience that team member obtained working on the facility. The RFQ Applicant would also identify where in the Qualification Submission the evidence is located that substantiates what they have entered in the spreadsheet. If an RFQ Applicant identified that a Designated Team Member obtained Planning experience on a particular facility, the substantiating evidence would need to show what the Designated Team Member did and prove that they obtained Planning experience in a managerial capacity. This evidence must include a CV for the team member and should include project specifications of that particular facility.

5.3  How should additional facilities be summarized for Development Experience in the Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience?
RFQ Applicant Development Experience worksheet
When filling out this worksheet you should fill out the tables for RFQ Applicant Development Experience vertically. That is, for each additional facility you are summarizing for the RFQ Applicant, use the table below the table you have already filled in.

Designated Team Member Development Experience worksheet
When filling out this worksheet you should fill out the tables for a single Designated Team Member vertically. That is, for each additional facility you are summarizing for a single Designated Team Member, use the table below the table you have already filled in.

When summarizing information for additional Designated Team Members you should use the next set of tables (horizontally) to the right of the first table in the worksheet. Each new Designated Team Member should be entered into a new set of tables to the right of the previous Designated Team Member. You would then list out any Similar or Comparable Facilities for that Designated Team Member vertically below the first table used for that Designated Team Member.

5.4  For the Microsoft Excel based Prescribed Forms, what if additional tables are needed?

For the Prescribed Form – RFQ Applicant and Tangible Net Worth:

Tangible Net Worth worksheet
The OPA has included a reasonable number of tables in order to evidence Designated Equity Providers. If more tables are required to evidence additional Designated Equity Providers, the RFQ Applicant should attach a further Prescribed Form – RFQ Applicant and Tangible Net Worth in their Qualification Submission and identify for the OPA that they have done so in order to include additional Designated Equity Providers.

For the Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience:

RFQ Applicant Development Experience worksheet
The OPA has included a reasonable number of tables to use for summarizing RFQ Applicant Development Experience in the RFQ Applicant Development Experience worksheet. In order to include more tables in the hardcopy submission simply expand the print area of the worksheet to include the additional tables that you have used.

If more tables are required than have been supplied by the OPA, RFQ Applicants should attach a further Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience in their Qualification Submission and identify for the OPA that they have done so in order to include additional tables.

Designated Team Member Development Experience worksheet
The OPA has included a reasonable number of tables to use for summarizing Designated Team Member Development Experience in the Designated Team Member Development Experience worksheet. In order to include more tables in the hardcopy submission simply expand the print area of the worksheet to include the additional tables that you have used.

If more tables are required than have been supplied by the OPA, RFQ Applicants should attach a further Prescribed Form – Project Questionnaire and Development Experience in their Qualification Submission and identify for the OPA that they have done so in order to include additional tables.

 
Connection

6.1  Are Large Renewable Projects that are connected to the Distribution System subject to dispatch and curtailment instructions from the IESO or LDCs?
Large Renewable Projects will be required to adhere to the Market Rules, Transmission System Code, and Distribution System Code (as applicable) with respect to their ability and requirement to respond to dispatch instructions for both operational requirements as well as economic dispatch.

6.2  Will there be additional connection information released to participants in the LRP process?
The OPA is currently developing a “connection primer” that will contain additional information and guidance on connecting Large Renewable Projects. The primer will include additional explanation regarding the Transmission Availability Tables (TAT Tables), common/acceptable connection configurations and historical cost estimates.

6.3  Why is there no connection availability in the Northwest?
The Northwest transmission area is limited by congestion; therefore, there is no connection availability for the LRP in that area. 

6.4  Can Impact Assessments be completed before receiving an LRP I Contract?
No. An Impact Assessment must not be applied for in respect of a Large Renewable Project before receiving an LRP I Contract. If an Impact Assessment exists for a Large Renewable Project, it must be rescinded before submitting a proposal under the LRP I RFP.

 
General

7.1  Why is the OPA asking for the aggregate MW and aggregate Large Renewable Project(s) being proposed by an RFQ Applicant?
The OPA needs to know the aggregate number of MW being proposed to evaluate the Tangible Net Worth of the Designated Equity Provider(s).

As explained in the Mandatory Requirements section 3.3 of the LRP I RFQ, RFQ Applicants or their Designated Equity Provider(s) must have a minimum Tangible Net Worth of $250,000 per MW of aggregate proposed Contract Capacity.

Similarly, the minimum requirements for the number of previous Similar Facilities or Comparable Facilities, as well as the size of the RFQ Applicant Team, are determined based on the aggregate number of MW being proposed.  The OPA needs to know the aggregate number of MW being proposed to evaluate the Development Experience of an RFQ Applicant and its team.

7.2  Will the OPA be qualifying specific Projects at the RFQ stage?
No, the OPA will be qualifying RFQ Applicants at the RFQ stage. The OPA will determine whether an RFQ Applicant (and its team) has sufficient Development Experience and Tangible Net Worth to develop the aggregate number of MW and Large Renewable Project(s) of a particular Renewable Fuel that it intends to propose under any potential RFP.

7.3  If the RFQ is only meant to qualify Applicants, why are technical specifications of Large Renewable Projects identified in the document?
Some of the anticipated technical specifications for Large Renewable Projects are identified in the LRP I RFQ to give interested parties an early sense of the potential requirements for Large Renewable Projects under any potential LRP I RFP and LRP I Contract.

7.4  I have a question about a specific project, whom can I talk to?
The OPA will not answer questions concerning the eligibility of specific projects during the LRP. 

7.5  Can I propose a Large Renewable Project on the same site as a microFIT or FIT project?
A Large Renewable Project can be proposed on the same site as a microFIT or FIT project provided that the microFIT or FIT Project was in commercial operation before the proposal for the Large Renewable Project was submitted.