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Off-Site Physical PPA

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If you are pursuing a PPA in partnership with other buyers, it is highly recommended that you align on your collective priorities and individual risk appetites before issuing the RFP. Being very clear on questions such as your preferred deal terms, priorities, and desired locations will simplify and expedite the process of reviewing and evaluating developer responses.

Discover Providers and Pricing (Optional)

To become more familiar with market prices and providers, many buyers choose to release a request for information (RFI) and/or a request for qualifications (RFQ) prior to issuing a request for proposals (RFP). You should collaborate with your procurement department to determine which type of request would be appropriate. For examples, see the City of Cincinnati’s RFQ and the City of Boston’s RFI. The latter includes a response template to help standardize developer responses.

Cities planning on conducting an RFI should also include the following:

  • Your Requirements

    Including the following information in your request will help developers understand your needs and encourage standardized, easily comparable responses:

    • The capacity (in MW) and/or annual energy (in MWh) you are looking to purchase
    • Whether your city wants to purchase and retire the RECs, sell the RECs, conduct a REC swap, or opt out of the RECs
    • Your preferences regarding project location
    • Requirements around when the project should be operational
    • A range of acceptable tenors (i.e., the duration of the PPA contract)
    • Whether you would prefer a fixed PPA price or one that starts lower but increases over time
    • The desired delivery location(s) (i.e., the location(s) on the grid where power is delivered)
  • Contract Terms/ Structure

    You may find it useful to include a section in which developers are able to propose novel concepts or structures. Note that developers will be better able to propose potentially helpful alternatives if your city is transparent about its priorities, constraints, and preferences.

  • Preferred Outcomes

    You should clearly communicate to developers your city’s preferences and your selection criteria, including how the criteria are weighted. For example, if your city has identified that local workforce participation is a critical component of your efforts, you should highlight this fact in the initial request document and clarify how projects will be evaluated against this need. Example RFQ:
    The City of Cincinnati released an RFQ in January of 2019 which included the potential for off-site renewable energy projects.
    Example RFI and Response Template:
    The City of Boston released an RFI for PPA contracts (including VPPAs), along with a standard response template

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