Tetra Tech engages with U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) partner countries to access best practices and technical assistance, enabling countries rapid and effective scale-up of renewable energy through the Scaling Up Renewable Energy (SURE) project.

The SURE project is supporting USAID partner countries in Africa, Asia, Europe and Eurasia, Latin America, and the Pacific. The project is organized according to seven building blocks, on which the successful scale-up of renewable energy can be achieved, including:

  • Strategic energy planning
  • Competitive procurement of clean energy
  • Grid integration of renewable energy
  • Smart incentives
  • Renewable energy zones
  • Clean energy technology and innovation fund
  • Knowledge management and coordination with other USAID projects

SURE’s main challenge is to support the expansion of USAID’s building blocks by providing power sector planning support, including utility and/or national-level integrated resource planning (IRP), and the incorporation of expanded climate risk and resilience assessments into IRPs.

Tetra Tech also advises host country governments on the competitive procurement process of clean energy. This includes advising on best practices in competition; providing technical assistance and support to foster competition; and providing legislative, regulatory, and implementation support. We are working to identify discrete actions that will enable effective grid integration to maximize cost-effectiveness while maintaining reliability.

SURE’s global success

Mexico Low Emissions Development II Project Support: SURE supported Mexico in the preparations for its third and fourth clean energy auctions and its first transmission auction. By implementing the competitive procurement process in Mexico, Tetra Tech was able to conduct a detailed electricity market analysis and identified key issues and recommendations for consideration in the design of follow-up renewable energy (RE) auctions. Our assistance included conducting a study of previous Mexico auctions and providing recommendations and tools to address legal, institutional, technical, and social constraints in the upcoming auctions. Tetra Tech also conducted an electricity market study that laid out an action plan to secure the viability of future auctions and provided support to the energy secretariat (SENER) in the transmission bidding process.

RE Auctions in Colombia and India: Tetra Tech conducted a detailed electricity market analysis; advised the design of a market mechanism for long-term contracts through energy auctions; established a framework for conducting competitive energy auctions; and identified key issues and recommendations for consideration in the design of follow-up RE auctions. The issues addressed included the grid code; interconnection; intermittency; social and environmental aspects; regional and nodal auctions; technology-specific auctions; energy storage; generation and transmission planning and development; and legal and regulatory issues, ensuring the continued success of future auctions and sustainability toward reaching the country’s established clean energy targets. We helped the governments remove regulatory barriers to competitive markets by promoting market driven variable renewable energy (VRE) investments.

Engendering Utilities Program: Tetra Tech supports USAID’s Engendering Utilities Program. This program works to strengthen energy utility operations by identifying and implementing gender equity best practices that help utilities meet their core business goals while providing tangible economic opportunities for women. The program also aims to further the understanding of interventions that effectively increase the role of women in traditionally male-dominated sectors. By fostering enterprise-driven innovation, the Engendering Utilities Program supports USAID’s commitment to promoting a path to self-reliance and resilience in partner countries. Participating utilities receive tools and global best practices, including:

  • USAID’s best practices framework training entitled, “Increasing Women’s Participation in the Power Sector through Human Resource Interventions”
  • Expert coaching provided virtually and in-person for up to two years
  • Entry into the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, a 12-month program from Georgetown University for up to three personnel from each utility
  • Tailored interventions to increase gender equity, create leadership opportunities, and develop talent within their organizations

USAID scaled the program to include 10 new partner utilities that receive the above assistance. At the same time, the original seven utilities will receive ongoing support to continue implementing, monitoring, and evaluating their selected gender interventions.

The governments of the partner countries have partnered with USAID and made commitments to achieve large-scale energy deployment by receiving technical assistance around the seven building blocks.

Tetra Tech’s scope includes a wide-range of activity, including:

  • Developing and building the capacity of power sector planners
  • Developing tailored, country-specific integrated resource planning processes
  • Coaching stakeholders through the process
  • Developing demand forecasts and validating key data for power sector planning
  • Assessing opportunities for demand-side management
  • Training counterparts on power sector modelling and joint analysis
  • Assessing power system resilience

In addition, the team is finalizing an RE auctions guide entitled “Designing Renewable Energy Auctions: A Policymaker’s Guide,” and is developing a toolkit to include quick reads on key auction topics, case studies, and success stories to help governments operationalize their energy sector goals into successful practice.

Tetra Tech has delivered workshops on the future of the country’s power sector, auctions, power purchase agreement best practices, transmission, and energy storage. We have provided the governments with information on the latest trends in auctions and RE development, and the legal and financial prequalification requirements developed for the Mexican transmission bid process as a basis for developing Kazakhstan’s bidding process. In Senegal and Tanzania, Tetra Tech delivered tailored workshops on global trends, RE auction design, and opportunities.

The team prepared two white papers addressing VRE grid integration challenges and opportunities in Colombia, India, Mexico, the Philippines, and Vietnam, which focused on forecasting and system operations. Based on the analysis, the team made recommendations for further studies and pilot projects in each of the countries. In Southeast Asia, the team is preparing for a regional dialogue to discuss global best practices in competitive procurement, including key design elements and innovations applicable to the region.

In the next phases, Tetra Tech will build on knowledge management practices and enhance coordination with other USAID projects through training, the publication of white papers, and subscriptions to a research service that delivers high-quality research and articles on renewable energy.