Download our On-site Solar Request for Proposal (RFP) Template*.
The goal of a request for proposal (RFP) is to solicit accurate, comparable bids from qualified vendors and select the best-qualified Proposer to achieve the project goals. When developing an RFP, it is important to strike a balance between being too prescriptive and remaining flexible. Being too prescriptive may force developers to increase their prices or may dissuade them from participating at all, whereas being too vague may result in bids which do not meet the local government’s needs or are difficult to compare.
The ACCC Renewables Accelerator team created an on-site solar RFP template that integrates best practices found in the DOE Better Buildings Initiative’s Solar Request for Proposals & Procurement Guidance template, NREL’s Request for Proposal Template for Grid-Tied Solar PV Systems for State, City, and Other Entities, City of San Diego’s On-site Solar RFP, Fairfax County’s On-site Solar PPA RFP, City of Charlotte’s Off-site PPA RFP, industry experts, and our internal expertise. For quick reference, our team developed a brief guide to center equity and high-road labor practices in clean energy RFPs, including sample text.
*Note (August 2020): We are experiencing unprecedented changes to local economic activity, societal behavior, and public health due to COVID-19. We’ve developed an addendum to our RFP template to provide City and County staff with updated guidance on renewables procurement to help them move forward with more confidence on projects in this unusual environment. Considerations and recommendations for adapting each major section of the procurement process and RFP documents have been developed and are included for reference. While not comprehensive, this addendum should provide sufficient information for staff to be able to quickly incorporate key changes to the RFP template and keep projects moving forward.
Below are the recommended RFP elements found in this RFP template, along with helpful recordings from an ACCC Renewables Accelerator RFP virtual workshop.