Triangle Sustainability Partnership Seeks Bids from Solar Contractors

JUNE 2022 - A newly formed local government partnership, the Triangle Sustainability Partnership, is seeking bids from solar contractors for a regional, regionwide community-based group-purchasing program launching this summer to provide clean-energy options to local residents, businesses and non-profit organizations in 11 Triangle communities.
 
The Triangle Sustainability Partnership has issued a Request for Proposals to welcome area solar-energy design and installation companies to participate in the Solarize the Triangle program. The deadline for bidders to respond is July 15. The full Request for Proposals document is available here.
 
Solarize the Triangle will be a community-based group-purchasing program for solar energy, battery storage and other clean-energy technologies. This initiative, designed to launch in August 2022, aims to serve residents, businesses and nonprofits within 11 Triangle locales to become more resilient, reduce energy expenses, and save on the cost of renewable-energy systems by obtaining volume discounts on materials and installation services.
 
Solarize campaigns are driven by community group purchasing. The more participants who enroll, the greater the savings for all.
 
Participating Triangle communities include: Chatham County, City of Raleigh, Durham County, City of Durham, Town of Cary, Town of Chapel Hill, Town of Hillsborough, Town of Carrboro, Town of Apex, Town of Morrisville and Orange County. The Triangle J Council of Governments and Solar Crowdsource are facilitating the launch of Solarize the Triangle with Triangle local governments.
 
The objectives of the campaign include:
 
  1. Making solar energy more affordable: lower the cost of solar energy through the power of group-purchasing and reduced acquisition costs. Pass savings to residents of the Triangle region; 
  2. Making solar energy more accessible: contractor(s), materials and pricing will be highly vetted for best practices using a competitive bid process;
  3. Education and community engagement: widespread community engagement, education and outreach activities through town hall meetings, workshops, solar “open house” gatherings, and outreach through local community groups and events; 
  4. Promoting solar-positive policies: encourage local governments to adopt streamlined solar energy permitting policies and fair utility distributed generation policies; and 
  5. Giving back: Solarize The Triangle and selected contractors will use a portion of campaign proceeds to donate a solar energy system to a deserving local nonprofit organization and/or help to underwrite solar-energy systems for qualified Low- and Moderate-Income families with high energy burdens.
 
BIDDER INFORMATION
 
Solarize the Triangle’s Request for Proposals is designed to select a qualified firm that ensures best-in-class materials are installed by qualified solar professionals for the lowest price through volume purchasing. Detailed criteria for selecting a company have been set forth by the Partnership.
 
Organizers of the program will hold a virtual pre-bid meeting via Zoom at 10:30 a.m. EST June 28. Prospective bidders are encouraged to attend this meeting to get an overview of the campaign and participate in a Q&A session. Registration here is required to receive a link to the virtual meeting.
 
Once an installer is selected, Solarize the Triangle will offer a series of clean-energy education and outreach events with a goal of increasing participation through a better understanding of rooftop solar components, suitability assessment considerations, and contract provisions. All solar and battery installations are expected to be completed by Nov. 30, 2023. 
 
Solarize the Triangle is now accepting advance registrations for the upcoming campaign. Interested residents may go to solarizethetriangle.com to learn more about the program and sign up in advance of the launch to be first in line for a free evaluation.
 
 
PROGRAM CONTACTS
 

Emily Barrett
ebarrett@tjcog.org

Ken Haldin
ken@solarcrowdsource.com
(404) 405-2924