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.

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 McLean County through a group purchase involving free information sessions and a competitive selection process.

The group buy is offered with the support of the Ecology Action Center (EAC) with high visibility in the area. MREA and EAC 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

RFP Announced March 2, 2018
RFP Questions Due/Posted March 16, 2018
RFP Proposals Due March 23, 2018
Firm Selected April 11, 2018


  1. Is there a formal scoring rubric and will it be made available?
    Scoring rubric is available by request.
  2. Is each committee stakeholder equally responsible for the final contractor selection?
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. Please define “commercial” participant in the context of this RFP.
    In the context of this RFP, the term commercial means any non-residential solar array, including solar arrays for non-profit organizations. 
  6. Has a Power Hour presenter already been selected and if so, who is it?
    The Ecology Action Center will be presenting Solar Power Hours on MREA’s behalf. 
  7. 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 schedule and venue list has not yet been established. We expect to host 20 Solar Power Hours. 
  8. Are any of the municipalities offering special priority or discounted permit processing as part of this program?
    None that we are aware of. 
  9. Please expand upon the criteria & outcomes of a potential “second round” program extension referenced in Exhibit A.
    This is to be determined. 
  10. Please more specifically define the term “Flush mount systems” in Exhibit C.
    The term flush-mounted in Exhibit C refers to roof-mounted PV arrays that are mechanically integrated to minimize diversion from the roof plane.
  11. Please elaborate upon or explain through examples the guidance provided in “IX Pricing Schedules, Para F. ‘Pricing based solely on specific individual system size will not be considered.’”
    Please do not submit proposals with pricing exclusively for a specific set of system sizes, i.e. a “one-size-fits-all” or “ready-made” approach. We expect pricing to reflect the custom, site-specific nature of solar installation. 
  12. Finally, are the sponsors aware that an IL administrative judge last week 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. 
  13. How does MREA want bidders to address any possible mounting and balance of system cost increases that will likely result from a potential steel and aluminum tariff implemented near or after the bid submission deadline?
    Any proposed increases will be reviewed by MREA and, if required, the Advisory Committee, if US trade policies or other market forces cause widespread price increases that cannot be quantified at the time of the proposal.