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Request for Proposal:

SolSmart Technical Assistance Vendor

The Solar Foundation is soliciting proposals for an individual or organization to provide support to the SolSmart Technical Assistance Program. The SolSmart program aims to assist local governments across the U.S. to cut red tape and reduce the barriers to solar within their communities. The organization will help with outreach and recruitment of communities, provision of technical assistance to communities in the designation process, and development of resources for communities working to reduce these barriers. TSF is especially interested in firms that can successfully recruit cities and counties to apply for SolSmart designation, support those firms in achieving designation, and provide subject matter expertise to communities in solar energy including utility-scale solar.

Background:

SolSmart is a national designation program designed to recognize communities that have taken key steps to address local barriers to solar energy that aim to reduce soft costs and foster the growth of mature local markets. SolSmart is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office and is led by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and The Solar Foundation (TSF), along with a team of partners with deep expertise in solar energy and local governments.

Program Goals:

The Solar Foundation is soliciting proposals for an individual or organization to provide support to the SolSmart Technical Assistance Program. The SolSmart program aims to assist local governments across the U.S. to cut red tape and reduce the barriers to solar within their communities. The organization will help with outreach and recruitment of communities, provision of technical assistance to communities in the designation process, and development of resources for communities working to reduce these barriers.

The program aims to provide high-profile, national recognition for communities that have made it cheaper and easier for solar companies to invest in solar energy. The designation signals that a community is open for solar business. SolSmart uses objective criteria to designate communities that have successfully met these goals. These communities receive designations of SolSmart Gold, Silver, and Bronze based on points earned in the following categories:

  • Permitting
  • Planning, Zoning, and Development Regulations
  • Inspection
  • Construction Codes
  • Solar Rights
  • Utility Engagement
  • Community Engagement
  • Market Development and Finance

Since the program launched in 2016, more than 374 municipalities nationwide have achieved SolSmart designation. To help communities achieve designation, SolSmart provides no-cost technical assistance from a team of national experts who work with local governments to evaluate programs and practices that impact solar markets and identify high-prospect opportunities for improvement.

The website provides a summary of the actions that are taken under the primary pathway by communities to achieve each level of SolSmart designation. Please note that there are modified pathways to designation as some communities do not control permitting, planning and zoning, and/or inspection processes. Such communities include some counties and regional organizations. Solsmart.org

Qualifications:

TSF is especially interested in firms that can successfully recruit cities and counties to apply for SolSmart designation, support those firms in achieving designation, and provide subject matter expertise to communities in solar energy including utility-scale solar. Proposals should present capabilities of the respondent in the designation categories and identify related past work. Responses should identify the team that will execute the technical assistance.

Proposal Deadline:

June 30, 2020

Award Date:

July 10, 2020 – April 30, 2021

Budget:

A maximum of $100,000 for this project.

Submission Requirements:

  1. Cover Letter;
  2. A technical application which includes a description of the capabilities of the work to be performed;
  3. Statement of the organization’s qualifications
  4. Staff CVs of key personnel who will be involved; and
  5. Detailed cost of proposal broken out by tasks.

Evaluation criteria:

20% Qualifications of the staff assigned to the project

20% Qualifications of the organization

40% Proposed plan and methodology

20% Value of work given the budget

Completed proposals must be received by TSF no later than noon EST on June 30,2020. No late proposals will be accepted. TSF has the right to reject any and all proposals. TSF will not cover any proposal related costs. Please email submissions to tperry@solarfound.org.

FAQs

Q1: Is it okay to include partner/sub contractor organizations in the proposal/budget? 

Answer: Yes, we can accept proposals with partners or sub contractors included.

**Deadline has been extended until noon June 30.**