The purpose of the Solarize Seacoast Maine program is to help people get the best deal possible on solar energy systems through group purchasing. The more people who sign up for a solar energy project before December 31, 2016, the lower the cost of the project for everyone who participates. This model has proven successful in many other towns in northern New England where there is a strong level of local community involvement and people are willing to spread the word about the opportunity. Studies on solar adoption have proven time and again that the number one predictor of where a future solar energy system will occur is the proximity of an existing system–good neighbors helping other neighbors get in on the powerful benefits of renewable energy.
RFP by SEAREI
Selection of a winning bidder for Solarize Seacoast Maine has followed a deliberative process set in motion by the Seacoast Area Renewable Energy Initiative’s (SEAREI) release of a Request for Proposal (RFP) in June 2016. In response to the RFP, SEAREI received four qualifying bids from area installers and at the same time appointed a Selection Committee to evaluate the bids. Bids were evaluated based on four criteria highlighted in the RFP, and weighed in roughly equal measure: quality of the equipment and installation; support of the customer provided by the bidder before, during and following installation; value of the proposed bid to the customer, in particular the value of the tiered pricing mechanism; and commitment to outreach and promotional activities.
Choosing ReVision Energy
All of the received bids were strong in one or more criteria. Multiple bids were strong across the board. But, only ReVision offered a proposal that was price-competitive, strong on features, and backed by a reputation for quality and service in the seacoast area stretching back over a decade. Other factors were taken into account as well. SEAREI has been gathering names of interested residents and businesses, including tax exempt organizations, and has collected over 200 so far. The size of ReVision’s operations — distributed across northern New England, with 689 systems installed in 2015 alone, 486 of which taking place in Maine inspire confidence that it can serve a successful Solarize Seacoast Maine program in the planned timeframe.
In addition, ReVision’s ability to arrange Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) makes it particularly attractive for some of the tax exempt organizations that have expressed interest in solar. Finally, ReVision’s commitment to Community Solar Farms (CSFs) make it attractive in the seacoast, where there has been strong interest from consumers for a CSF option.
The Selection Committee considered all of the bids carefully, and considered more than one bid in its final round of deliberations. However, after rounds of Q&A and following interviews, it chose ReVision Energy unanimously and without qualification as the area’s partner installer.
SEAREI eagerly looks forward to working with ReVision to make Solarize Seacoast Maine a success!