Timeline: 3–4 months
IN A FINAL RFP YOU WILL SOLICIT AND EVALUATE BIDS TO SELECT THE BEST SOLAR DEVELOPER FOR YOUR PROJECT. THE FINAL RFP SHOULD BE USED IF SITE AND OTHER MAJOR PROJECT FACTORS ARE KNOWN. IF MAJOR PROJECT COMPONENTS ARE UNKNOWN, CONSIDER STARTING WITH AN “INITIAL RFP” (LEVEL 3).
IN THIS LEVEL, YOU WILL ANSWER KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO:
- Write and Release Final RFP
- Compile Key Legal Documents
- Manage and Evaluate Final RFP
- Select Top Developer
Step 1 Have you researched interconnection and other key costs?
To ensure final RFP bids are firm and binding, the buyer should provide reasonable assumptions on major costs. The buyer should research and provide reasonably precise assumptions (within ~15%) for interconnection. Buyer may also consider researching and providing assumptions on: local taxes; site geotech; site environmental assessment; end-of-life ownership; and permitting-related costs.
CLICK BELOW TO see NRECA’s SUNDA Reference Designs which includes interconnection single-line diagrams.
Step 2 Have you compiled and edited key legal documents?
Creating or compiling legal documents prior to final RFP can significantly decrease the post-RFP development timeline and greatly increase the chance of project success. You should consider including the final documents as part of the final RFP package. 1. Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) 2. Interconnection Agreement 3. Land Lease Agreement 4. Winner’s Agreement
CLICK BELOW to create these documents. Note that developers will provide feedback on all of the documents above, and final document may need to be negotiated between the developer and the buyer.
CLICK BELOW to learn more about solar contracts and agreements.
Step 3 Have you written a final RFP?
A final RFP solicits all the information required to evaluate a bidder. In addition to the price, experience, and delivery method questions asked in the initial RFP, the, final RFP also asks developers for feedback on PPA and other documents.
CLICK BELOW to walk you through how to write a final RFP, create a final RFP bid sheet, and create appendix documents for the final RFP.
Step 4 Have you released the RFP to developers?
Distribute the RFP to a broad distribution list to maximize your chances of receiving high-quality bids. To receive a list of solar project developers consider reaching out to your state solar or renewable energy industry association.
Step 5 Have you managed developer questions during the RFP?
Even if an RFP is well written, you will inevitably receive questions during the RFP. You should use RFP management best practices to ensure that information is effectively communicated and that questions are addressed in a timely and fair way. RFP management best practices include: – Creating a webpage where respondent questions are openly and transparently addressed. – Providing email updates to all vendors who have notified with an intention to participate in RFP. – Conducting an RFP webinar (also known as a “virtual site visit”).
CLICK BELOW to learn more about how to manage an RFP by conducting an RFP webinar (virtual site visit).
Step 6 Have you evaluated RFP bids?
Bids should be evaluated on price, ability to deliver, and quality. You should evaluate ability to deliver by weighing a proposal against project non-delivery risks. A final RFP will result in the selection of a top developer.
CLICK BELOW to view a template of the Final RFP Qualitative Evaluation Rubric. This template provides a high-level overview. The more detailed rubric is a premium tool. Please contact Shine at firstname.lastname@example.org to access the premium Qualitative Evaluation Rubric.
Step 7 Have you notified the top developer of your decision?
Notify the top developer of your selection! Additionally, notify unselected developers of your decision and provide reasoning behind your decision. It is good practice to set up a forum to discuss feedback with non-selected developers. Consider sharing data and information to explain why a developer was not chosen or to show how the shortlist of developers stack up to their competitors.
CLICK BELOW to see an example of how you can notify developers of RFP results.