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 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 Champaign County through a group purchase involving free information sessions and a competitive bidding process.
The group buy is being done with full support of the City of Urbana, the Urbana Sustainability Advisory Commission, and associated municipalities and community groups with wide publicity and awareness in the area.
Q: Are these installation only in Urbana?
A: Anywhere in Champaign County.
Q: Where I can find sample proposal and Sample Contract as stated?
A: The request for a sample proposal and sample contract in the RFP, refers to samples of your project proposals and customer contracts. In other words, examples of what customers will receive.
Q: Are the listed selection preferences equal in weight or are some more significant than others?
A: Preferences listed may be exercised in an ‘all things being equal’ scenario. Presence of one or more preferred qualifications is not a guarantor of award.
Q: Can you please clarify the following statement in Section IX, Para D.: “If SRECs are secured after a vendor is selected for the program, MREA reserves the right to request and receive the SREC pricing offered to the selected vendor. Further, MREA reserves the right to share additional SRECs sales opportunities to program participants.”
A: The purpose is to clarify that the vendor is passing through the SREC value to customers excepting a reasonable vendor fee to facilitate SREC sales. Vendors are expected to incorporate overhead and profit margins in the per kW installed pricing offered.
Q: Can you please elaborate what management, marketing, or other services MREA will be providing for the $0.10/watt management fee?
A: MREA will manage the entire program from start to finish, including RFP management, leading weekly calls with team members, scheduling all Solar Power Hours, hiring or contracting a Solar Power Hour facilitator, issuing press releases, and assuming print and web marketing fees.
Q: Can you elaborate on the requirement that the contractor who “installs the solar electric system” must be the 5-year warranty provider? How does responsibility fall between prime and subcontractors and what if more than one subcontractor is used on a project?
A: The customer must have a 5-year labor warranty covering all aspects of system installation. It does not matter if the prime contractor or a subcontractor provides the warranty.
Q: Can you elaborate on the size of the Group Buy Advisory Committee and how its “Champaign County resident” members are selected?
A: The Advisory Group is composed of all the members of the Urbana Sustainability Advisory Commission who are appointed by the Mayor. Additionally, municipal staff and related subject matter expert residents from other Champaign County Communities are invited to participate in an expanded stakeholder Advisory Group. The Sustainability Coordinator from Parkland College and a Program Director from the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center have joined the Advisory Committee.
Q: Being a small business we’ve heavily leveraged the use of subcontractors and sub-consultants of all-type of specialties. In Illinois, NABCEP certification is not required and we meet all the requirements to install solar throughout the State and obtain local licenses when and where necessary. We currently do not have a NABCEP certified installer on staff however we use design consultants that have professional engineers (PE) and NABCEP certified staff. These folks are part of our team and have been over the years and support the quality installations we deliver. If we use a design consultant w/ NABCEP certification on all projects generated under this RFP satisfactory?
A: It is MREA’s prerogative to include conditions in the RFP that exceed the IL DG installer requirements. That being said, if you demonstrate that you use a consulting engineer or contractor that has NABCEP certification, then you would meet the requirements.
Q2: Isn’t the requirement of NABCEP when it’s not required in Illinois to perform solar installations discriminatory?