Notice of Request for Proposals from Solar PV Project Developers:
PowerOptions, Inc., a nonprofit energy buying consortium, is soliciting proposals from solar PV project developers for Large On-site Solar Projects (>300kW) in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. This Request for Proposals will be provided to qualified solar project developers interested in developing solar PV projects for members of the PowerOptions consortium, which is comprised of nonprofit educational, healthcare and cultural institutions and city, town and state governmental entities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Request for Proposals is available by contacting SolarRFP@PowerOptions.org or:
129 South St 5th floor
Boston, MA 02111
Telephone (617) 737-8480
Completed proposals must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, Friday, June 2, 2017 at the above address. PowerOptions reserves the right to reject any and all submissions.
Q & A:
Pipeline / Opportunity Size / PowerOptions Membership
Q: What is the average size of the projects, and how many projects are there?
A: The average size is unknown but will likely be between 300 kW and 1 MW. It is likely that we have canopy projects that are larger than 1MW. We have definitive inquiries and interest for about 12 projects without having a program to market. Based on our work in our other solar programs, we know that this is just the base to start from and more opportunities will arise once we market the program.
Q: In order to understand economies of scale, how many customers do you currently have in each market looking to develop projects based on this RFP, and how many estimated MWs of development is PowerOptions projecting for the next several years in each market?
A: PowerOptions has close to 500 members in Massachusetts. Rhode Island and Connecticut membership is small but growing. The former Large Solar program developed approximately to 65 MW for more than 35 members. The current Small-Scale Solar program has over 20 projects and roughly 4 MW. There is significant interest in parking canopies, and there are many large open roofs owned by PowerOptions members.
Q: Is there any information you can provide regarding PowerOptions customers in Rhode Island and Connecticut? Are they all nonprofits? Are any of them considered public organizations (municipalities, public colleges, housing authorities, etc.)?
A: PowerOptions membership regardless of state is open exclusively to nonprofits of all varieties and public and governmental entities. Our current members in Rhode Island and Connecticut are nonprofits.
Q: Does the procurement exemption apply in Rhode Island and Connecticut?
Q: Does the procurement exemption extend to state and quasi-state agencies? Does PowerOptions have members who are state and quasi-state agencies?
A: Yes, and yes.
Q: Can you provide an estimate of the percentage of projects that you expect to be from non-rated members?
A: Not at this time.
Q: Will PowerOptions be considering working with selected bidders on projects located off-site under this program moving forward as well?
A: We may consider off-site projects, but the focus of the program will be on-site.
Q: When will this RFP be awarded?
A: As soon as possible in order to complete projects under the SREC II extension. We would ideally like to have a program in place by late summer 2017.
Q: What are the evaluation criteria for the RFP? How will you be evaluating each proposal?
A: Each item of information requested will factor into the evaluation. Please refer to the Table of Contents for a list of evaluation criteria. We are looking for a complete development partner to deliver the best value to our members.
Q: Will developer(s) be selected based solely on their RFP response, or will there be a short-list selection process?
A: There will be an interview and negotiation process with the finalists.
Q: Can we be assured that the info we provide will remain confidential?
Q: Would PowerOptions be willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement?
Pricing, Proposal Exercises and PPA
Q: Regarding the incentive structure, are we to offer pricing under the current SREC program with the assumed curves and then provide in writing how we expect things to change under SMART?
Q: Does PowerOptions intend for the pricing submitted to include the currently available SREC II factor (requires mechanical completion by March 31, 2018) or the SREC II extension factor, which is lower (for projects mechanically complete between April 1, 2018 and the implementation of SMART)?
A: Current pricing should reflect the currently available SREC II factor for projects reaching mechanical completion by March 31, 2018.
Q: Would PowerOptions be willing to adjust the EPC pricing ranges on Tab 4 to reflect what we believe would offer a price truer to the range itself?
A: Please complete the tables as presented, but also include pricing proposals with the different size ranges per your recommendation.
Q: Could we provide pricing inputs only for the project sizes/categories that we are interested in? Would there be a penalty for doing so?
A: Yes and no, respectively.
Q: What is the location of the exercise projects?
A: Eastern Massachusetts. If a specific location is required for modelling, please use the address of PowerOptions: 129 South Street, Boston MA.
Q: Can you provide technical assumptions about proposed sites, such as interconnection costs or length of trench runs for the parking canopy?
A: Please make reasonable assumptions and show your assumptions’ impact on PPA price.
Q: For either of the Proposal Exercise Project Sites, can bidders assume some tree removal is acceptable within the parking lot or surrounding areas?
Q: Is the Project Pricing Worksheet available as an Excel version?
A: Yes. Available for download here.
Q: Would you be open to considering a respondent’s PPA, or should we redline the PowerOptions PPA?
A: Please redline the PowerOptions PPA, but also feel free to submit your own for consideration.