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The original item was published from 8/10/2017 11:35:00 AM to 8/11/2017 11:49:34 AM.

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Public Works-News

Posted on: July 20, 2017

[ARCHIVED] City of Watsonville Request for Qualifications: Renewable Energy Project Development

solar on landfill

The City of Watsonville endeavors to offset 100% of municipal power needs and create a surplus of renewable power that can be sold back to the grid. In order to achieve this bold sustainability goal, the City has developed a Request For Qualifications.

The City looks forward to submittals from all suitably qualified businesses. Please note that we are accepting submittals for any or all of the following: 

  • Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) Contractor or Developer
  • Financial Advisor
  • The entirety of the project (EPC and Financial components combined)

Please find the following Request for Qualifications for Renewable Energy Project Financing and Development for the City of Watsonville: City of Watsonville, RFQ, July 18 2017

Respondents are asked to submit their proposals by 4:00 PM on Friday, August 25th, 2017. 

Specifications for the proposal submission process can be found in the RFQ. Should you have any questions regarding the RFQ, please contact City Public Works Environmental Project Coordinator directly, Rachel Kippen at (831) 768-3165, or by email at

City of Watsonville Pre-Submittal Mandatory Conference Call, 7/31/2017: Meeting Minutes

Meeting Roster for Mandatory Conference call, 7/31/2017: 

Please note that this roster is still being verified with phone numbers. If you called in on 7/31 and do not see your name or company represented, please email Rachel.Kippen@cityofwatsonville and confirm your participation and the number used to dial-in.

1- Lori Biella, Soltage LLC, Vice President, Business Development

2- John Karamanlis, BAP Power (dba Cenergy Power), Project Development Manager

3- Pamela Becker, Columbia Capital Management, Vice President

4- Beberly Velasquez, SunPower, Sr. Project Development Manager

5- Dan Ferguson, Namaste Solar, Co-Owner, Commercial Project Developer

6-  Felicia Williams, PFM Financial Advisors, Senior Managing Consultant

7- Phil Horwitch, Arraycon, Project Engineer

8- Pietro Lomazzi, Onyx Renewable Partners, Director

9- Jason Feng, Director of Channel Sales, Standard Solar, Inc.

10- Renecca Langton, AES Distributed Energy, Senior Analyst

11- Boone Birdsell, ABM Building Solutions

12- Dan Sullivan, Sandbar Solar and Electric, Director of Business and Commercial Project Development

13- Johnathan Pickering, Managing Director, K2 Clean Energy Capital, LLC (+1)

14- Jane Black, MMA Energy Capital, Associate

15- Sarah Tchechel, ForeFront Power, Project Development Coordinator

16- Bill Bumby, Stronghold Engineering, Inc., Renewable Energy Operations Manager

17- Ken Stout, Commercial Business Development Manger, Clean Solar Inc.

18- Jordan Ruttenburg, ForeFront Power, Sr. Sales Analyst

19- Chris Fennimore, Borrego Solar, Project Developer

20- Dustin G. Jolley, PE, CEA, LEED AP, Principal, Our Energy

21- Martin Carver, Zero City

22- John Paul Jewell, Program Development Manager, Opterra

23- Jeff Proswimmer, Johnson Controls Inc.

24- Randy Britt, Vanir Group

Meeting Roster for Optional Site Tour, 08/03/2017: List of Names, Company, Title

Meeting Minutes for Optional Site Tour, 08/03/2017: Agenda/Discussion Notes/Questions Posed

City of Watsonville Renewable Energy RFQ: Questions and Answers

Q: The cover letter (p2) indicates that the City will accept proposals for EPC or FA or both, but 5.1.1 seems to preclude the "both" option. Is the City seeking/open to joint responses that cover both the EPC and FA work? Does 5.1.1 simply mean that a single firm can't perform both roles, but that joint proposals are okay? 


A: This is a request for any or all of the following: 

  1. Engineer-Procure-Construct (EPC) Contractor or Developer
  2. Financial Advisor
  3. The entirety of the project (EPC and Financial components combined)

Q: What is the desired/planned timing of contract award and execution after SOQ’s are provided in August?


A: The City of Watsonville’s desired timeframe is to start the project within twelve months of project approval. Execution will depend on the project being proposed.

Q: Do you have any direction from the MBCPA in regards to how their plans may impact the Watsonville program?  

A: No.

Q: Will MBCPA be part of the review & approval process?


A: No. The City is thrilled to have Watsonville participating in MBCPA and we look forward to working together as this project progresses.

Q: Section 2.1.3 of the document indicated that the energy consumption data was in section 4 of the RFQ, but we could not find any energy data. 

A: Please see energy data provided here: City of Watsonville Energy Data

Q: Can the city provide a cost break-down of demand charges, and energy charges?

A: Please see energy data provided here: City of Watsonville Energy Data

Q: Can you please provide us with the data or a link to it.  Also, is there any way to obtain gas consumption data?


A: There is currently no gas consumption data that the City is making available.

Q: Can you provide a list of the city owned properties or an interactive map?  It is difficult to ascertain detailed property information from the map in Section 4.  


A: Please see listed map property Assessor Parcel Numbers: City Owned Land, City Parks, City Parking Lots

Q: Would the City of Watsonville consider utilizing co-generation and/or fuel cell systems at any of their facilities separate from the landfill to help reduce energy costs?


A: Yes.

Q: Please also let us know if any arrangements need to be made prior to visiting any of the sites. 

A: Arrangements need to be made for restricted access City locations. The City will be hosting a site visit on Thursday, August 3rd from 10AM-1PM with the goal of ending by Noon, starting at the City of Watsonville Water Resources Center, 500 Clearwater Lane. Please RSVP directly to  if you plan on attending and let us know how many people will be joining you.

Q: Is the City of Watsonville open to have storage as a solution in addition to solar? 

A: Yes.

Q: Are any of the sites located next to commercial customer load where customers are on demand charges and could benefit from having storage sited nearby to reduce demand charge?

A: Not at this time.  There are, however, certain City facilities and potential sites where TOU demand charges could be offset by ES.

Q: How much storage capacity would the City like to see included in the response?

A: However much capacity can be justified as having sufficient financial benefit for the City.

Q: This does not appear to be an opportunity for community solar, please confirm.


A: That is correct for the time being.

Q: Is the average rate of 21 cents per kWh equal to the maximum amount of the PPA the city would be willing to sign with a developer?

A: The City is most interested in reducing its electric expense so that the savings will reduce or eliminate any PPA cost differential. Responders should take into account that rate escalation, PPA term, early buyout, partial advanced payment, etc. may significantly affect the overall average rate. Additionally, the City is always looking for opportunities to reduce average per kWh costs through analysis of energy usage to identify conservation strategies that do not only include infrastructure changes, but also optimal use of energy during peak times and PG&E rate structure plans.

Q: What is the deadline for responding with qualifications?

A: Friday, August 25th at 4:00PM

Q: Is there a specific timeline that this site will need to be completed?

A: No.

Q: I see this is a 10-12 MW project.  Will the size depend on the site that is selected and would you like a number for both 10 and 12 MW projects or just one?

A: The capacity figures given in the RFQ are based on dated preliminary work performed for the City.  It is the job of the successful Responder to evaluate each site and determine whether, and how much capacity can be installed at the price needed to offer sufficient financial incentive to the City.

Q: As far as the land this system will be installed on, has this been selected or should we just assume a plot of land that can hold this amount of solar?  My main concern here is for the civil work that is going to be needed to make this land acceptable for driven piles.


A: We have provided a map of potential sites on City property, including our landfill. Additionally, a site visit is scheduled for August 3rd which may help answer questions related to land acceptability. The City-owned (closed) landfill is subject to strict environmental limitations, for example, driven-pile racking should not be considered.  If the Responder desires to propose off-site PV, the racking system used should, again, be the most economical for the land.

Q: Is the city of Watsonville looking for a single company to provide all the scope of services outlined in the RFQ, or is the city contemplating awarding parts of the scope to multiple companies?

A: As stated in the RFQ, the City is seeking to retain a company, or team of companies, with demonstrated skill and successful experience in (a) obtaining and managing all aspects of project finance, and/or (b) as EPC contractor to the City for development of all approved generation sites.

Q: If the city is looking to make an award to a single entity, would a single bid submission from a group of companies who form a team in order to meet the requirements of the bid be considered?

A: All bids for just EPC, just Financial or combined will be considered. The City will consider single entity or multiple entity awards.

Q: Does the city use a 3rd party supplier for commodity electricity supply? If so, can you please provide the price and volume?

A: No.

Q: Can the city clarify how long of a PPA they are looking for, 15, 20, 25?

A: The City is seeking to work with a Financial Advisor who can guide us through this process.

Q: The RFQ references ROI and returns, though not applicable with PPAs. Can the city comment as to what their preference is for procuring renewable energy, lease, PPA, PPA option to purchase, performance contract?

A: The ROI and return indicators mentioned in the RFQ apply to the City’s finances only to demonstrate the financial benefits to the City.

Q: Is the city interested in a pre-pay option for a portion of the electricity to reduce the resulting electricity rate by leverage the city’s potentially low bond rate?

A: The City is limited in its ability to provide contributions toward project execution. However, the City will also consider all viable financial options.

Q: Is this for solar maintenance or solar installation services?

A:  As stated in the RFQ, the City is seeking to retain a company, or team of companies, with demonstrated skill and successful experience in (a) as agent for the City, obtaining and managing all aspects of project finance, and/or (b) as EPC contractor to the City for development of all approved generation sites.This scope includes project assessment, design, and installation. It would be ideal to have estimated maintenance costs included.

Q: The RFQ mentions on Page 10 that the City’s standard agreement is attached to the RFQ.  I was not able to find the standard agreement.  Would you please be able to point me to the document?

A: Please see several examples of standard consultant agreements for City projects provided here: City Consultant Contract, City Consultant Contract, Engineers or Architects with Employees, City Consultant Contract Ammendment

Please note that a project of this size may require additional or modified provisions and depending on the type of firm, you may be required to provide one of two types of agreements.

Q: Can you confirm if the site walk is mandatory to bid?

A: No, the site walk on August 3rd is not mandatory to bid on the project.

Q: Unfortunately we will be unable to attend the August 3rd site visit, but wanted to know if we could send a business partner in our place. Please advise if this would be a possibility

A: Yes, you may send a business partner in your place.

Q: Are you requesting a proposal or statement of qualifications? Both are referenced in the RFQ.


A: The City is requesting a statement of qualifications, not a full proposal. We encourage Respondents to consider all elements requested in the RFQ and have additionally encouraged that Respondents submit written responses that detail the qualification items requested.

Q: The only information about compensation for renewable energy through Monterey Bay Community Power is in the feasibility study. Does Watsonville realize that this issue may not be clarified within the timeframe of this project?


A: Yes, Watsonville understands the current status of Monterey Bay Community Power. The City’s primary goal is zeroing out and is additionally open to and interested in considering the feasibility of selling back excess renewable energy.


Q: Can you provide information on the estimated budget for this work?


A: There is currently no allocated budget for this work provided by the City of Watsonville.

Q: Is there any requirement for the Statement of Qualifications? It seems that some of the general requirements are all for the RFP and not for the RFQ.

Can you please clarify?

A: The City is requesting qualifications as outlined in the RFQ, which is not a Request for Proposals. We encourage Respondents to consider all elements requested in the RFQ and have additionally encouraged that Respondents submit written responses that detail the qualification items requested.

Q: Our firm was unable to attend the mandatory pre-submittal meeting yesterday but was unable to make it. I sincerely apologize as our company is still very interested in responding to this RFQ. Is there any way we can schedule another call?  


A: We appreciate your interest and are very sorry to hear that you were unable to make it to our meeting. Unfortunately, as we stated that it was mandatory to participate in order to submit, we are unable to offer any exceptions.

Q: What is the cover of the landfill like, what is under the cover, how thick the soil cover under phase one and two, what is the cover depth?

A: 2 feet of soil/vegetation

GCL membrane 

2 feet of soil

Q: Does the City have any preference or priority between the sites?

The City does not have any priority site and encourages participants to continue thinking outside of the box about how to zero out the City’s footprint.

Q: Why did the City chose to move forward on this project now? It is impressive that Watsonville has a wastewater, water distribution facility, landfill and airport and we are curious why this request is out now instead of sooner?

The City is proud of the facilities provided for our residents. The cost to operate and the recovery process from coming out of a recession has influenced the City's timeline. While the City has impressive infrastructure there is a tight budget to factor in keeping operations running smoothly. 

Q: Was the City required to have a glare study for the solar installed at Wastewater due to the City having an airport?


A: No, the City did not have to have a glare study, but did talk to all of the surrounding agricultural field owners.

Q: Can the City provide the location of the County’s Ameresco landfill gas facility?

A: Via google maps:

Q: Is the land surrounding the Water Resources Center Wastewater Facility City owned property?

A: No, the land surrounding our facility (designated on the map in the RFQ) is not City-owned.

Q: When are the different phases of the landfill closing?

A: Phase 1-2 have already closed, Phase 3 will close at some point in Spring or Summer of 2022 for final closure. We expect the last load of garbage to be in April of 2019.

Q: What is the clearance height of the tallest piece of equipment at the Municipal Services Center?

A: 17 feet clearance required.

Q: Will the Financial Advisor be provided office space within the City’s offices?  If not, would the Financial Advisor be required to rent temporary space in close proximity to the City’s offices or would meeting in person on a pre-determined schedule with regular teleconferences in between visits with the City’s designated project staff be acceptable?

A: The City will likely be able to provide a small area where they can work out of on the pre-determined days where in person meetings are required. Additionally, it is also likely that a certain amount of teleconferences in between working on site would be acceptable. This all remains to be determined.

Q: Are there any estimated timelines for the demolition of existing structures at the Water Treatment Facility?

A: The City does not have demolition scheduled for any current structures at the Water Treatment facility.

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