Timeline: 3–12 months
SELECTING A SITE PRIOR TO THE FINAL RFP WILL HELP ENSURE BIDS ARE RELIABLE AND THAT THE POST-RFP DEVELOPMENT GOES SMOOTHLY. THIS LEVEL PROVIDES GUIDANCE ON IDENTIFYING, SCREENING, AND SECURING AN APPROPRIATE SITE FOR YOUR SOLAR PROJECT.
IN THIS LEVEL, YOU WILL ANSWER KEY QUESTIONS THAT WILL ALLOW YOU TO:
- Engage a solar siting consultant
- Determine whether the site you have identified is appropriate for solar.
- Secure an appropriate site
Step 1 Have you engaged a solar siting expert? (Optional)
Not every site is appropriate for solar. Buyers should consider engaging a professional with experience siting solar projects to assist in identifying and securing an appropriate site.
Buyers are encouraged to engage third-party expertise if:
1) You don’t have internal site-acquisition experience;
2) You have not yet identified a site or;
3) You have identified a site, but don’t know if it is suitable for solar.
Step 2 Have you identified a site?
If you have identified a potential solar site prior to issuing an RFP, this site should be located in a region of your distribution system that can accommodate distribution-scale solar (See Level 2, Step 1 for more details). The site may be on land controlled by the buyer or it may be on third-party owned land.
If you have not identified a site, you may want to work with a siting consultant to identify a suitable site for your solar project.
Step 3 Have you secured a suitable site? (Optional)
Once a buyer or site consultant has identified a site, the buyer may consider securing the site through a lease or purchase option. The buyer may choose to postpone securing the site until after the final RFP, and to secure the site in partnership with the solar developer at that time.
CLICK BELOW to read NRECA’s SUNDA white paper on land acquisition and permitting (four cooperative case studies).