Solar RFP Template Takes Guesswork out of Finding Solar Providers

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by
Jay Paidipati, Better Buildings Alliance, Renewables Integration Technology Solutions Team
on
Jun 23, 2016

The economic and environmental benefits of solar are known to business owners across multiple sectors. Despite the declining cost of solar (with prices dropping 50 percent since 2010) and the technology becoming more popular and accessible (with more applications like multi-faceted roofs, retrofits on old buildings, and the ability to accommodate most soil types), it remains a daunting task to choose the right solar provider.

Just as there are more solar technology options, there are more companies and services than ever before to help your business install them. This can make finding the right provider challenging. However, with the right RFP in place, your company can weed out what it needs from the rest of the crop.

RFPs let solar photovoltaic (PV) providers know your company is open to receiving bids for a solar project. RFPs set clear objectives and goals, and outline what information and qualifications your company is looking for in a vendor and a solar PV project. The goal of this template is to make the process of releasing an RFP easier by providing a starting point that users can customize according to their needs. The template includes recommendations for an RFP’s:

  • Schedule
  • Project background
  • Scope of work and
  • Selection evaluation criteria

The template also provides formatting guidance and helpful suggestions for asking the right questions of potential providers. Included is also a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which helps your company narrow down the bidders to the most qualified. Having a short list of top bidders allows you to focus your attention on the best candidates, streamlining the evaluation process.

The goal of the resource is to allow business owners to further their sustainability goals by pursuing solar projects with the confidence that they have a strong basis to start from, provided by an unbiased source, the Better Buildings Alliance.

These resources are intended to be reviewed and updated over time, so comments and feedback for future editions can be shared with Jay Paidipati at BBA@ee.doe.gov.