Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is seeking qualified solar installation firms to submit proposals for the design, procurement, and installation of new, residential and small commercial, direct-owned photovoltaic systems at a per-watt price lower than the typical, single solar electric installation in a solar group buy program.

The group buy is being led by Midwest Renewable Energy Association. The goal of the group buy is to increase solar education and installations in Madison County and St. Clair County through a group purchase involving free information sessions and a competitive selection process.

The group buy is offered with the support of Madison County Resource Management Program, Lewis and Clark Community College, City of Columbia, City of Belleville, Glen Carbon Cool Cities Committee, and Sierra Club Piasa Palisades Group, with high visibility in the area. MREA and local partners will coordinate and deliver a minimum of 20 free, public Solar Power Hour information sessions and market them widely with physical posters, email blasts, paid social media promotion, yard signs, and in the press.

Click here to download the Request for Proposals

Click here to download the Amendment to Exhibit C

RFP Announced March 9, 2018
RFP Questions Due/Posted March 23, 2018
RFP Proposals Due March 30, 2018
Firm Selected April 20, 2018


  1. If a customer signs up in May, can we start installation whenever? What happens with their price?
    Installations can happen on an ongoing basis. If a property owner pays in full before the end of the program (i.e. before we know what level of kW capacity the program has achieved and thus what the final pricing is), the installer would issue a rebate check to that property owner.
  2. What happens in the case of Utility or AHJ delays?
    We can deal with this on a case by case basis. We are aware that delays are not often at the fault of the installation firm. However, repeated delays to interconnection or permitting due to failures or mistakes of the installer are unacceptable.
  3. What is involved in “information regarding energy efficiency” on top of page 10?
    We want participants to be made aware of energy efficiency improvements they could make to their properties before, after, or coinciding with solar installation. In many cases the solar site assessment is the perfect time to take note of those opportunities for energy efficiency improvement. 
  4. Can you explain Exhibit A in more detail? ie. Are we allowed the site assessment/cost estimate/sample contract in this Exhibit section because these are not counted towards the 25-page maximum requirement? If not, are we allowed to add Exhibit sections?
    Please include these items as described in the outline on page 5 of the RFP. Sample Site Assessment, Cost Estimate, and Sample Contract are all part of “Business Practices,” and are not part of Exhibits A, B, or C. Please do not add Exhibit sections. Label any additional sections as your proposal’s Appendix.
  5. Are we allowed to add line items on Exhibit C?
    Yes. As stated on Exhibit C, proposing firm may add more rows if necessary.
  6. Is there a formal scoring rubric and will it be made available?
    Scoring rubric is available by request.
  7. Is each committee stakeholder equally responsible for the final contractor selection?
  8. What are the specific roles for all stakeholders on the committee?
    Each committee member is responsible for scoring each proposal using a scoring rubric provided by MREA.
  9. What details of the scoring process/outcomes will be publicly available after the winning vendor(s) are announced?
    While proposals are kept confidential, we can provide feedback to installers who are not selected based on which factors of the scoring rubric they were scored lower than the selected installer. 
  10. Please define “commercial” participant in the context of this RFP.  Is there a KW-size element to this definition?
    In the context of this RFP, the term commercial means any non-residential solar array, including solar arrays for non-profit organizations. There is not a kW size element to this definition. 
  11. Has a Power Hour presenter already been selected and if so, who is it?
    Yes, MREA has hired two presenters locally. 
  12. Have the Power Hour schedule and venue list already been set?  If so, can it be shared and how many events are expected during the program duration?
    The Solar Power Hour schedule has not yet been finalized. There will be approximately 20 presentations. 
  13. Are any of the municipalities offering special priority or discounted permit processing as part of this program?
    None that we are aware of.
  14. Please expand upon the criteria & outcomes of a potential “second round” program extension referenced in Exhibit A.
    This is to be determined. 
  15. Finally, are the sponsors aware that an IL administrative judge decided that co-op & muni utilities will NOT be allowed to participate in the higher-value 15-Year Adjusted Block Program but only the lower-value 1-Year Spot SREC program?  While this decision is currently under appeal, are the sponsors planning any adjustments to the RFP or their program goals in light if this decision should it come to stand?
    We do not plan to make any changes to the RFP or RFP process as a result of this contingency.