SOLAR REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
To: Lumberton Township Committee
From: Solar Review Committee
Date: Friday, July 6, 2018
RE: Solar Report and Recommendation of Award
Background: Notice to Vendors was made via publication on March 30, 2018 to receive Request for Proposals for a solar project that would provide options to Lumberton Township is develop a solar project or projects with the primary goal of reduced rate electricity. Secondary goals include land lease alternatives and providing solar power street lighting along municipal drive. The project was advertised as a competitive contracting proposal process pursuant to guidance provided in New Jersey Statutes, N.J.S.A. § 40A:11-4.1 et seq., and Local Finance Notices 2009-9, -10 and -11. The complete Request for Proposals package is attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated herein. The RFP permitted the use of lands at the closed municipal landfill as well as the Township’s facilities along municipal drive as space to provide opportunities for solar initiatives. The RFP was open to an award to multiple vendor each of whom was directed to maximize use of available lands and supply as much solar energy power as each was capable of generating at the lowest possible rate to the Township in the proposal. The specification required no municipal start-up costs for this project.
A pre-submission meeting was held on site on April 9, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. The meeting included a description of the project, a question and answer session with Township representatives and a site tour were conducted. The meeting was conducted by Environmental Resolutions, Inc. and Township Administrator Brandon Umba on behalf of the Township.
Potential vendors had until April 20, 2018 to raise questions concerning the proposal guidelines. No potential vendors submitted questions.
The Township granted an extension for the submission date to supply each vendor with additional power usage figures.
RFP Opening. At the time and place for receiving proposals, two bids were received. The vendors were:
- Solar Sense
- Advanced Solar Products
Please note, the second vendor’s submission was rejected for arriving approximately one hour late.
Committee evaluations. The review committee each individually scored the remaining submission. This submission only proposed a land lease option for the landfill site and did not propose to sell electricity to the Township at a reduced price.
Recommendation. The review committee evaluated the Solar Sense proposal and determined that the overall economic benefit to the municipality is $985,613 over fifteen years ($61,230/year) for a straight lease purchase of the landfill lands to construct a solar field. This project would not affect the municipal buildings and would allow the Township to re-advertise for a solar project at the municipal. The review committee recommends that the second project be advertised solely as a power purchase agreement and that one of the requirements of the vendor would be to install appropriate lighting along municipal drive. The review committee recommends that this secondary project be advertised after the completion of the new emergency services building so that the rooftop may also be considered for solar paneling.