Request For Proposals – Grow Solar Bloomington Normal solar group buy
Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is seeking qualified firms to submit proposals for the design, procurement, and installation of new, residential and commercial, direct-owned and power purchase agreement photovoltaic systems at a per-watt price lower than the prevailing single system market rate.
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.
Between 2013 and 2018, the MREA facilitated twenty-two Solar Group Buy programs around the Midwest, reaching over 6,000 individuals with our Solar Power Hour information sessions, and leading to more than 7,400 kW on over 1,000 properties. Among those property owners who received proposals from partnering contractors, an average 42% purchased a PV system. To date, the average system size is 7.5 kW.
The group buy is offered with leadership support of the Ecology Action Center (EAC), the Town of Normal, and the City of Bloomington, with promotional support from Bloomington Library, Children’s Discovery Museum, Green Top Grocery, and YWCA of McLean County, with high visibility in McLean County. MREA and EAC will coordinate and deliver a minimum of 16 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.
RFP Announced March 22, 2019
RFP Questions Due/Posted April 5, 2019
RFP Proposals Due April 12, 2019
Proposal Selected April 26, 2019
NOTE: Ecology Action Center has a pending grant application that, if awarded, would preclude selection of any solar installation firm that is also an “Approved Vendor” of the IL Adjustable Block Program.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q: So if you’re an approved vendor and able to get the state incentives you cannot respond to this RFP? So you’re doing a group buy without the available incentives?
A: No, if Ecology Action Center gets the grassroots education grant, that will bar them from accepting any payment (i.e. solarize program administrative fees) from a so-called “approved vendor.” This would not apply to solar installers who use 3rd party approved vendors and are not themselves approved vendors. Also, we do not yet know when the grassroots education funding will be awarded, or what the outcome will be, so we encourage any solar installer to propose for this program, but the EAC wanted to be up front about this potential limitation to some proposers.
Q: Request clarification of the scoring logic regarding the participation of subcontractors in Item B of Section III. It seems that if a bidding installer uses no (installation) subcontractors they are automatically awarded 5 points, but if the bidder elects to or requires the use of a subcontractor then the proposal will receive 0-5 points based on an assessment of the quality of the offered subcontractor. Is this correct? Can it be inferred then that the program sponsors prefer a non-subcontracting bidder? Also, can you please elaborate the attributes used to assess the score of any identified subcontractors?