In the renewable energy industry, winning a request for proposal (RFP) can help you to not only close a single project—it can help you build a business relationship with lasting potential.
So, what’s the secret to winning that solar RFP? Get your foot in the door before an RFP bid becomes public. Below, you’ll find three ways you can do that—and boost your chances of winning a solar RFP.
Source: Energy Acuity Renewables Database
1. Follow policy information for renewable energy RFPs.
Renewable energy policy information is one of the best ways to find out about upcoming renewable energy RFPs, including solar RFPs. Vendors can find this information in integrated resource plans (IRPs), which utility companies use to plan for the energy needs of customers into the future using a diverse energy mix. (Avista)
According to PacifiCorp:
The IRP is developed with considerable public involvement from state utility commission staff, state agencies, customer and industry advocacy groups, project developers, and other stakeholders. The key elements of the IRP include: a finding of resource need, focusing on the first 10 years of a 20-year planning period; the preferred portfolio of supply-side and demand-side resources to meet this need; and an action plan that identifies the steps we will take during the next two to four years to implement the plan.
IRPs are part of the information that utilities file with public utility commissions (PUCs). Utilities for these projects have to file with PUCs and then undergo lengthy legal proceedings before solar projects get approval and begin. Utilities are required to file this information, and vendors can use it to identify energy projects pre-RFP. Most PUCs have websites, or you can go to the courthouse yourself to find the information.
However, the legal filings are technical and complicated. Even if you can access the PUC information online, many websites aren’t user-friendly; you need to know the docket and case numbers you’re looking for.
If there is no data available online, then you have to put boots on the ground to find the policy you’re looking for. Overall, this tactic is time- and resource-consuming, unless you have a dedicated policy analyst or a tool like Energy Acuity. Energy Acuity helps you by aggregating news, policy, and legislative information in one easy-to-use platform.
2. Stay aware of bids—and bid in a timely manner.
Another secret to winning a solar RFP is to be aware of bid timelines. Many projects have numerous dates associated for site tours, deadlines for questions surrounding solicitation, and more.
On an even larger scale, you should try to find energy RFPs as soon as possible so you can have a better chance to place a bid. We recommend a timeline of 24-72 hours of the release data so you’re not late to the party.
3. Have an established track record.
Most developers build relationships with vendors before an RFP is even written, so they generally have a preferred partner in mind before the RFP is released. If you’re one of those “preferred” vendors, congratulations! A proven track record is another secret to winning a solar RFP.
If you’re not quite there yet, you can consider public solicitations and cold-calling. You could reach out to contacts at utilities directly to establish a relationship with the right people early on. Hopefully, you’ll be at the top of the company’s list once the RFP for solar projects comes out.
Are these tips only for solar RFPs?
No! While the scope will be different for other RFPs, the process will be similar—you can use these tips to find RFPs for other renewable energy projects across the United States and North America.
Your Secret Weapon For Winning Solar RFPs
Energy Acuity’s renewable database is the secret weapon your company needs to research, find, and win solar RFPs—and all renewable energy RFPs.
Our database aggregates verified contact information, policy, news, legislation, and primary research, so you can find all of the information you need about solar RFPs faster than ever—without even leaving your desk. And with Energy Acuity, you’ll find out about RFPs as soon as we know, so you can have a competitive edge in competing for and winning projects.
Interested in seeing how it works?
If you want to save time and get more qualified leads, sign up for a live demo of the renewables database. You’ll see how it works and the ways it can revolutionize how your company finds solar RFPs.
Source: Energy Acuity Renewables Database
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