New Effort Aims To 'Solarize Michigan'

MIDLAND — The Institute for Energy Innovation, a nonprofit organization, is looking for proposals from solar energy contractors to “Solarize Michigan.”

Modeled on a solar energy promotion initiative in Portland, Ore. in 2010, the goal is to significantly increase small-scale solar energy installations in the Great Lakes Bay region that includes Saginaw, Bay City, Midland, and surrounding communities.

The effort is being conducted in partnership with the Lansing energy consulting firm 5 Lakes Energy LLC, and the economic development agencies Saginaw Future, Midland Tomorrow and Bay Future.

The full request for proposals may be found at https://www.facebook.com/solarizemichigan.

The RFP is intended to solicit bids from qualified contractors to install roof-mounted and ground mounted solar photovoltaic energy systems on residential and small commercial properties. Solarize Michigan will contract with selected solar installation firms to provide the design, equipment procurement, and installation services for property owners that choose to acquire the solar energy systems through participation in the program. Contractors chosen for Solarize Michigan will be asked to provide agreed upon prices, system designs, and service delivery models within the Solarize Michigan timelines.

Once selected, contractors will collaborate with Solarize Michigan on a five week community outreach campaign, Feb.29 – March 31, with the goal of securing an average of 50 contracts for solar installations per community in each of the three participating cities and 10 contracts for solar installations in Thomas Township. Installation of the PV systems will begin in May and end in October.

Solarize Michigan hopes to reduce the cost of solar energy by reducing customer acquisition costs for contractors and transferring those savings to residents and small businesses.

Proposals must be received no later than Thursday, Feb. 11. Proposals may be submitted electronically to Stephen Wooden at stephen@instituteforenergyinnovation.org.

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