Earlier this summer, a major U.S. utility reportedly received bids from 110 different solar power firms in response to an RFP for a 40 megawatt solar power installation.
This overwhelming response, and the likelihood that maybe 10 to 20 percent of the bidders are really qualified to handle the job, reminds me of similar issues our commercial clients deal with daily when facing unsolicited proposals for solar services (power purchase agreements and solar roof rentals).
Like the challenge the utility faced, real estate owners looking to achieve their company’s sustainability goals must sort, analyze and score all the various offers. This becomes even more challenging in light of ever changing incentive programs, consolidation in the solar developer field and the new technologies/techniques that are emerging on a daily basis. And of course, “new” in this context often means “unproven,” presenting an even greater challenge to decision-makers who need to cut through the noise to get to the best solution.
All to often the task exceeds the solar experience of the real estate decision maker and the result is to maintain status quo, do nothing. Rather than face the challenge of trying to become a market and technology expert, a better approach is to retain a solar advisor with the knowledge of solar market issues, technologies and logistical hurdles, as well as a track record of successfully contracting and overseeing the implementation of projects.
Ultimately, a good solar advisor helps you cut through the noise of all those competing claims and allow you to realize your sustainability objectives.