Oregon Public Utility Commission

Rule Rule 860-150-0500
Large Natural Gas Utility Investments in Biogas Production

(1) Pursuant to ORS 757.396 (Participating large natural gas utilities), before making a qualified investment in biogas production that is upstream of conditioning equipment, pipeline interconnection or gas cleaning, a large natural gas utility must engage in a competitive bidding process as provided in this rule.
(2) A large natural gas utility must issue a request for proposals to initiate a competitive bidding process that contains the information required by section (3) of this rule.
(3) At a minimum, the utility’s request for proposals must include:
(a) A description of the project, specifications, delivery or performance schedule, inspection and acceptance requirements. This description must:
(A) Identify the scope of the work to be performed under the resulting contract, if the large natural gas utility awards one. The scope of work must require the contractor to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, standards, and permit or inspection requirements;
(B) Outline the anticipated duties of the contractor under any resulting contract; and
(C) Establish the expectations for the contractor’s performance of any resulting contract.
(b) If the utility intends to hold a pre-offer conference:
(A) The time, date and location of any pre-offer conference;
(B) Whether attendance at the conference will be mandatory or voluntary; and
(C) A provision that provides that statements made by the large natural gas utility’s representatives at the conference are not binding upon the large natural gas utility unless confirmed by written addendum.
(c) The form and instructions for submission of bids and any other special information, including whether bids may be submitted by electronic means;
(d) How the large natural gas utility will notify bidders of addenda and how the large natural gas utility will make addenda available;
(e) Any minimum bidder requirements for credit and capability;
(f) The time, date and place of bid opening;
(g) Standard form contracts to be used in acquisition of resources;
(h) Language to allow bidders to negotiate mutually agreeable final contract terms that are different from the standard form contracts;
(i) The anticipated solicitation schedule, deadlines, protest process, and bid evaluation process;
(j) Bid evaluation and scoring criteria;
(k) A description of how the large natural gas utility will share information about bid scores, including what information about the bid scores and bid ranking may be provided to bidders and when and how it will be provided.
(4) A large natural gas utility will prepare and file a draft request for proposals for the Commission’s review and approval. This filing must include an explanation of how the draft request for proposals aligns with a need to acquire additional RNG production volume to meet current or future annual RNG targets identified in the large natural gas utility’s most recently acknowledged integrated resource plan, or alignment with subsequently identified need or change in circumstances.
(5) The Commission will generally issue a decision approving or disapproving the draft request for proposals within sixty (60) days after the draft request for proposals is filed. A large natural gas utility may request an alternative review period when it files the draft RFP for approval, including a request for expedited review, upon a showing of good cause.
(6) Once the Commission approves the draft request for proposals, the large natural gas utility may proceed with the request for proposals by issuing public notice on the utility’s website or through the utility’s electronic procurement system, if the company regularly uses such a system, and may further advertise the notice using additional media. This public notice must be issued and be publicly available for not less than thirty (30) days prior to closing of the opportunity to submit sealed bids.
(7) A large natural gas utility must provide the Commission with a copy of all bid documents submitted by all bidders upon the Commission’s request.
(8) A large natural gas utility is exempt from the requirements in sections (4) through (6) of this rule if:
(a) The large natural gas utility’s procurement process requires competitive bidding, the total project cost is not anticipated to exceed $25 million, and the large natural gas utility can provide a copy of the request for proposals and all bid documents submitted by all bidders to the Commission upon the Commission’s request; or
(b) All of the following apply:
(A) A large natural gas utility is not the developer, owner, or operator of the biogas production facility;
(B) The request for proposals or other invitation for competitive bids for the project is issued by an entity that this not the large natural gas utility;
(C) The large natural gas utility does not receive or evaluate bids nor select a winning bid; and
(D) The large natural gas utility submits a bid in response to the request for proposals, in competition with other bids that may be submitted, and the utility is awarded a contract only after all eligible bids are evaluated in accordance with the procedures of the entity that issued the request for proposals.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021