RFI Alert: University of Michigan seeks 25 MW of solar


The University of Michigan (U-M) has released a request for information (RFI) for 25 MW of solar installations, distributed across its campuses in Dearborn, Flint, and Ann Arbor.

U-M is targeting carbon neutrality for Scope 2 emissions (purchased electricity) university wide by 2025 and eliminating all Scope 1 (direct) emissions by 2040. Additionally, the City of Ann Arbor has declared a climate emergency and set a Scope 1 and 2 carbon neutrality targets for the entire city boundary by 2030.

The university is seeking information from parties that are qualified to either design, build and transfer the PV installations or to design, build, own, operate and maintain them through an energy-as-a-service model. It seeks a 20-year contract and requests to retain the right to remove or relocate installations at its own cost.

The RFI calls for 15 MW to 20 MW at its Ann Arbor campus, 1 MW to 5 MW at the Dearborn campus, and 1 MW to 5 MW at the Flint campus. Providers are welcome to bid on the entirety of the MW volume or smaller portions therein. Projects are expected to be constructed in a phased approach, with the entire portfolio planned to reach commercial operations no later than December 31, 2025.

For the Ann Arbor Campus, the University of Michigan owns and operates its own 13.2 kV and 4.8 kV electrical distribution systems. Individual building electrical usage data can be found here.

Preference will be given to goods or services manufactured or provided in the U.S. if they are competitively priced and of comparable quality, said U-M. Additional preference will be given to competitively priced goods or services manufactured or provided by Michigan businesses.

In addition to the 25 MW RFI issued by U-M, the City of Ann Arbor is seeking to procure an additional 1 MW to 2 MW of capacity through a separate request for proposals (RFP).

Campus maps identifying buildings, parking structures and lots for each university campus can be found on the following websites:

Project proposals will be selected based on the proposals alignment with scope and project objectives; relevancy and success of company’s comparable projects; individual proposed team members’ experience in working on similar projects; demonstrated adequate financial, planning and execution resources; proposed phasing of the project; transfer cost or energy purchase cost as applicable; and the firm’s philosophy regarding installation locations and interconnection to the campus system.

“This action marks the start of a process — toward renewable, sustainable power generated right here on campus — that the entire community can rally behind,” said Santa J. Ono, president, University of Michigan.

In addition to on-campus solar efforts, U-M was recently recognized by the EPA Green Power Partnership for its renewable energy use. The organization ranked U-M eighth on its quarterly Top 30 College & University List and 89th on its National Top 100 List.

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