The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is seeking qualified 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.

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 Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul through a group purchase involving free information sessions and a competitive selection process.

The program is offered with the support of the City of Minnetonka, City of Woodbury, City of Oakdale, Southeast Como Improvement Association, and the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE), with high visibility in the program areas. MREA and local partners will coordinate and deliver 15-20 free, public Solar Power Hour information sessions and market them widely with physical posters, email blasts, paid social media promotion, and in the press.

Click here to download the modified Request for Proposals.

RFP Announced March 29, 2018
Modified RFP Announced April 20, 2018
RFP Questions Due/Posted April 27, 2018
RFP Proposals Due May 2, 2018
Firm Selected May 9, 2018

Amendment 1: The sentence “MREA will work with the contractor through an existing process to adjust the final deadline as needed if program capacity exceeds 250 kW.” has been added to page 2, paragraph 2 under ABOUT THIS RFP.

Amendment 2: The following has been added to paragraph 3 of Exhibit A: “MREA will work with the selected contractor to define the geographic scope of the program, including, at a minimum, current program partners and locations in the existing schedule (see www.SolarTwinCities.org for current list of events). Solar Twin Cities will accept inquiries from the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area, but will focus outreach efforts based on current partners, schedule, and negotiations with the selected contractor.”

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

  1. Can you better describe the production credit?  What rate is the production credit given at?   What if delays are created by the client, is the production credit still provided?   What if delays are created by MREA?  What if delays are out of control of the contractor.  
    The production credit is based on the annual production proposed in the customer proposal and contract. If the contractor receives a change order signed by customer indicating a delay in construction timeline with new installation date, customer and MREA will adjust the production credit to beginning at the new date.  MREA will not be in a position to cause delays to construction schedule as we conduct the public outreach and deliver all leads to the selected contractor at that time.  The assessment, proposal, contracting, construction, and interconnection process are all the responsibility of the contractor.  Delays outside of the control of the contractor will be defined in the agreement as “at the risk of the contractor.”  However, MREA commits to work with the contractor in good faith and will adjust the installation timeline as needed if appropriate.  It should be noted that the production credit is in place to protect the customer from extended delays in construction.
  2. Are the results of the RFP made public, as well as the scoring given to each company?
    Results are available by request. The MREA does not share contractor proposals or proposal details.
  3. How do you want us to include financing charges in our price per watt proposals?
    Include description and amount of additional cost in Schedule C.
  4. Currently you have Oakdale, Woodbury, Roseville, and Minnetonka all listed, the the title is Twin Cities. What communities are you planning on including other than what I listed. 
    We will coordinate with program partners and the selected contractor to prioritize additional communities for outreach activities.
  5. Are you expecting that we give the same price for a customer in Oakdale as in Minnetonka? Their permit prices can be hundreds, if not thousands of dollars different?   This is hard to standardize prices in this situation.  Differences in permitting fees charged by AHJs should be identified in Schedule C including a price range.  These costs can be treated as “in addition” to the cost per watt submitted in the proposal.
  6. What are the boundaries for “Twin Cities”  Zip codes, city lines, address’s?  
    The MREA will work with the selected contractor to define the exact service territory for the Solar Twin Cities program. Proposing contractors should define preferred service territory in their proposal and include additional costs in Schedule C based on distance from the service territory.
  7. Do you give higher points to using top tier equipment? If not, is equipment even considered in the scoring?   All I can see is that it has to be CEC listed.
    Contractors can propose multiple types of equipment at varying price per watt providing customer choice. Type of equipment proposed is included in the scoring.
  8. I am looking through the RFP and am wanting to place our commitment to providing lower cost solar for this group buy, and we would like to put this in the correct section, also is there a specified per watt price that is suggested.
    The price will differ by contractor and should represent their best offer with consideration of any discounts that can be provided to all customers if the group hits total capacity benchmarks.  AND, should identify estimated increases in cost based on the conditions in Schedule C.