There is a steady growth in the commercial solar and energy storage industry. This increases the need for companies of all sizes to adopt formal procurement best practices so that they can arrange for competitive bids for solar and energy storage projects. Teams need to manage multiple bidders, usually through a Request for Proposal (RFP) or any other formal bidding process. This helps the team make sure the team meets their project goals by choosing the right company. The best practices should involving checking for the following:
- Internal resources and expertise needed to issue a solar RFP
- Financial and strategic goals of the solar project
- Mentioning baseline qualifications in the RFP to demonstrate their experience with similar projects
- Ask about the project schedule, deliveries and about their day to day operations
- Ensure the financial health of the bidding company
- Check the underlying assumptions the bidding companies make to create their energy production and energy saving analysis
- Ask for the cost for updates in utility
- Involve the decision makers of your organization in the RFP process and ask them to be a part of the internal review team. These include the CEO, the procurement manager, someone who understands the needs of the company based on energy usage, an operations manager and any and all stakeholders involved in the financial performance of the system
- Consider all important financial metrics of economic performance when comparing proposals such as Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE), Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Net Present Value (NPV)
- Check for the bidding company’s safety record and their interconnection expertise
- Check for the service offerings of the bidding companies. Bidding companies should ideally have an in-house team that is in charge of verticals such as design engineering, project management, scheduling, financing and more. This simplifies processes than if you had to hire a third party vendor.
- Ask the bidding company to provide clarity on construction timelines, savings and customer requirements when it comes to site access and project execution.
- When hiring a consultant, companies need to check for their track record and make sure they have done similar work for other private companies
- If a company is planning on procuring solar energy resources, they need to compare different RFPs before making their decision
- Some best practices you need to check for include the financial status of the bidding company, their past experiences with similar work, their in-house team size and qualifications, and more