Municipal Solar Buyers Group

[Update 02/05/16] Presentation to NY State Bar Environmental Law Section on the Muncipal Solar Buyers Group.

Open the slide deck explaining the Municipal Solar Buyers Group to  the Environmental Law Section at the New York State Bar Association’s annual meeting on January 29, 2016.

[Update 12/23/15] Re-issuance of Request for Proposals for the Muncipal Solar Buyers Group.


Issue Date: Wednesday, December 23, 2015
RFP Components:
  1. Download Re-issued RFP and Exhibit A (.pdf)
  2. Exhibit_B_Participating_Towns_Initial_Sites_7.20.15 (.xls) (revised 7/20/15.)
  3. Exhibit C: Site Pictures (.pdf)
  4. Exhibit_Ca_pictures_Bedford_Sites.pdf (.pdf) (revised 7/20/15)
  5. Exhibit D1: Bid_Submission_Form_I_Updated_7.20.15 (.xls) (revised 7/20/15)
  6. Exhibit D2: Respondent Bid Form 2 : Pricing Grid Submission(.xls)
  7. Exhibit_E_NEW_Ground-Mount-Sites_(7.9.15)-web.pdf (.pdf)
Proposal Due Date: Proposals must be received by Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at 5:00 P.M. EST

Proposal package must be submitted to Jennifer Silva: [email protected]

[Update 10/16/15] Draft Municipal Cooperation Agreement and Resolution 

We hereby circulate a draft Municipal Cooperation Agreement and draft Resolution authorizing executuion of the Agreement as well as an explanatory cover letter for members municipalities to review and consider.  The Agreement assigns the Administrative Agent role to Sustainable Westchester on behalf of the member municipality for the purpose of issuing a Request for Proposals pursuant to the applicable state regulations for procurement of special services. See draft Agreement and Resolution and cover letter.

[Update: 10/1/2105] Sustainable Westchester is launching an innovative program in the Fall 2015 to install over 15 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generation capacity on facilities owned by local governments in Westchester County. We call it the Municipal Solar Buyers Group.

The effort began in 2012 as local governments became interested in locking in lower electric rates for the future. In the private sector, nearly 50% of the investment in solar can be earned back with federal and state tax benefits.e.g. significant investment tax credits and accelerated deprecation. But local governments have no federal or state tax benefit appetite.


The question became: Could we match private sector investors who had the tax appetite with local public sector sites that would be willing to commit to long term energy purchase agreements, where those contracts lowered operating costs of buying electricity?

Yes, we can! The Municipal Solar Buyers Group is our response put into action.

We have a list of potential sites (42 and growing) that appear to be viable for solar PV in some 18 municipalities in Westchester County. At this writing (Sept 30, 2015), the following muncipalities have joined the Group by sending us candidate buildings and sites (parking lots, capped land fills, etc):

Bedford T, Cortlandt T, Croton-on-Hudson V, Larchmont V, Lewisboro T, Mt. Kisco V, North Salem T, Somers T, Eastchester T, Dobbs Ferry V, Hastings-on-Hudson V, Mamaroneck T, New Rochelle C, Rye Brook V, Tarrytown V, White Plains C, Yonkers C.

To join the Group, a municipality should contact the SW Executive Director, Leo Wiegman, and provide addresses for some facilities for which it would like to explore solar. The solar systems can be roof-mounted, ground-mounted (as on landfills) or carports (for parking lots).

Below we have posted links to the relevant documents we have used for the solicitations and review process in identifying program partners on behalf of Sustainable Westchester’s member municipalities.

Item and link Description and date
Draft Municipal Cooperation Agreement and Resolution and cover letter Municipal Cooperation Agreement between municipality and Sustainable Westchester assigning the latter the role of Administrative Agent for purpose of the procurement of speical services by means of Request for Proposals (October 16, 2015)
Revised (expanded) list of sites and Extension of response due date. Town of Bedford site added and the response date is extended to July 24, 2015.
Municipal Solar Buyers Group: FAQ #3
Answers to Additional Questions from Interested Respondents as of July 22, 2015
Municipal Solar Buyers Group: FAQ #2 Answers to Additional Questions from Interested Respondents as of June 24, 2015
Municipal Solar Buyers Group: FAQ #1 Answers to Additional Questions from Interested Respondents as of June 11, 2015
Municipal Solar Buyers Group Solar Developer RFP Original request for proposals for Solar Developers (May 2015).
Municipal Solar Buyers Group Legal Services RFP (MISSING) RFP for Special Legal Counsel for Municipal Solar Buyers Group (July 2015)

Muni Solar Buyers Group Press Coverage

Journal News [May 23, 2015] Matt Coyne – Seventeen villages, towns and cities have signed on with Sustainable Westchester to install solar panels and try and lower energy costs for municipal buildings.

Westchester Business Journal {May 28, 2015] Colleen Wilson – A nonprofit in Westchester County recently established the Municipal Solar Buyers Group to help find ways to fund solar installations on public property in an effort to lower government electricity costs.