Earlier this month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”), U.S. Forest Service, Department of Energy, and General Services Administration (“GSA”) released a final solicitation for the Federal Aggregated Solar Procurement Project (“FASPP”).  Through the FASPP, these agencies seek to acquire cost-effective solar electricity at nine federal sites located throughout northern California and northern Nevada.  The solar electricity will be purchased under a firm fixed-price Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) with a single contractor who will design, construct, own, maintain, and operate photovoltaic systems on the agencies’ sites.

The FASPP comes in the wake of Executive Order 13693, issued by President Obama on March 19, 2015, charging agencies to reduce their “direct greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent over the next decade while at the same time fostering innovation, reducing spending, and strengthening the communities in which our Federal facilities operate.”  As the EPA explained, by harnessing the economies of scale in solar installation, the agencies participating in the FASPP seek to advance this goal by purchasing 5 megawatts of solar electricity, while reducing their electricity bill by almost $1 billion.

In addition to the potential environmental and cost-saving impacts, the FASPP is noteworthy due to the collaborative nature of the procurement.  According to the GSA, combining the procurement for the nine agency sites will result in the agencies paying a lower rate for solar electricity than if it was acquired on a site-by-site basis.  This inter-agency collaboration appears to have some traction.  For instance, the GSA has stated that it hopes this model will be “replicated across the country”; and just over a year ago, the United States Coast Guard reported that it was assessing the viability of multi-agency collaboration for additional PPAs in northern California.

Although this collaborative approach to solar procurement may reduce costs to agencies and increase opportunities for contractors able to respond to the solicitation’s requirements, its long-term impact remains uncertain.  For instance, contractors who could have bid on a procurement to provide solar electricity for one or two agency sites may be unable to submit a competitive proposal that provides photovoltaic systems capable of producing 5 megawatts of electricity across nine federal sites in two states.  As a result, some interested bidders may wish to explore teaming arrangements with others in the industry to present a more competitive proposal for the FASPP contract.  The bundling of U.S. Government requirements into one procurement may also present an added layer of complexity in the financing of each project.

Bidders interested in the FASPP contract may attend a pre-proposal conference call on April 27 and participate in site visits between April 27 to May 1, 2015.  Proposals are due May 29, 2015, and contract award is expected this summer.

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Photo of Scott A. Freling Scott A. Freling

Scott Freling represents civilian and defense contractors, at all stages of the procurement process, in their dealings with federal, state, and local government customers and with other contractors. He has a broad-based government contracts practice, which includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, strategic procurement…

Scott Freling represents civilian and defense contractors, at all stages of the procurement process, in their dealings with federal, state, and local government customers and with other contractors. He has a broad-based government contracts practice, which includes compliance counseling, internal investigations, strategic procurement advice, claims and other disputes, teaming and subcontracting, and mergers and acquisitions. He represents clients in federal and state court litigation and administrative proceedings, including bid protests before the Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. He also represents clients in obtaining and maintaining SAFETY Act liability protection for anti-terrorism technologies. Mr. Freling’s experience covers a wide variety of industries, including defense and aerospace, information technology and software, government services, life sciences, renewable energy, and private equity investment in government contractors.

Photo of Alexander Hastings Alexander Hastings

Alex Hastings advises clients across a broad range of government contracting issues, including advising clients in transactional matters involving government contractors and assisting defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies in securing and performing government contracts.

Mr. Hastings also advises clients concerning best practices in…

Alex Hastings advises clients across a broad range of government contracting issues, including advising clients in transactional matters involving government contractors and assisting defense contractors and pharmaceutical companies in securing and performing government contracts.

Mr. Hastings also advises clients concerning best practices in e-discovery. He assists in investigations and litigations that involve complex e-discovery issues and has represented clients in matters involving the U.S. Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States International Trade Commission.

Mr. Hastings’ government contracts experience includes advising clients regarding new developments in regulatory requirements, including the Federal Acquisition Regulation’s (FAR) anti-human trafficking requirements and the FAR and Bayh-Dole Act’s intellectual property provisions. Mr. Hastings also provides due diligence regulatory advice to clients contemplating the acquisition of government contracting entities or assets.

Mr. Hastings’ e-discovery experience includes advising a wide-array of clients on best practices in information governance and document collection and assisting clients develop effective mobile device and document management policies.

Mr. Hastings also maintains an active pro bono practice and routinely writes on issues related to government contracts and e-discovery.