St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. — A newly formed local renewable energy coalition is currently seeking bids from USVI-based solar energy design and installation companies for its 2021 group purchasing program for St. Thomas property owners. Deadline for bidders is Nov. 5.
The Coalition for Solar Affordability Partnership is preparing to launch Solarize St. Thomas, a community-based group purchasing program for solar energy, battery storage, and other clean energy technologies that helps homeowners, businesses and non-profits become more resilient, reduce energy expenses and save on the cost of renewable energy systems. The more local property owners that participate, the greater the savings.
“For the first time in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a new local coalition has formed to help make solar energy more affordable to all,” said Doug White, a St. Thomas resident and local green architect. “Through this campaign, we have an opportunity to both significantly raise awareness of the benefits of this renewable source of power and to lower the cost to access it by leveraging the power of group purchasing. Participation of low- and moderate-income families in solar energy solutions is also a key objective of the Coalition.”
Coalition organizations involved in partnering to ensure Solarize St. Thomas is a success include Rotary Club of St. Thomas East ECO, UVI’s Caribbean Green Technology Center, the Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John, the Virgin Islands Conservation Society, the VI Electric Vehicle Assoc.-North, and Solar Crowdsource as well as the Virgin Islands Energy Office.
Prospective solar energy design and installation companies have until Nov. 5, 2020, to submit a bid to become the sole provider of equipment and installation services for Solarize St. Thomas. The Coalition held a virtual bidder meeting earlier this month to answer questions about the program. Request for Proposal documents as well as a recording of the bid can be found here.
[ https://www.solarcrowdsource.com/rfp-solarize-st-thomas-usvi/ ]
Throughout the first 6-8 months of 2021, Solarize St. Thomas will put on a series of clean energy education and outreach events with a goal of increasing participation and encouraging all solar and battery installations to be complete by the end of the year.
“Next year is the last year available for valuable federal tax credits for homeowners. WAPA is also offering a new “Net Billing” program,” said Don Moreland, founder of Solar Crowdsource, the firm administering the program. “Our goal is to help educate local residents about these incentives and programs, demonstrate the benefits of solar energy and battery storage systems, and make it easy to get a free proposal from a trusted source. Then with the power of bulk purchasing, we can achieve volume discounts on materials and installation services.”
Solarize St. Thomas is now accepting advance registrations for the upcoming program. Interested residents may go to solarizestt.com to learn more about the program and sign up for a free evaluation.
About Solarize St. Thomas: Solarize St. Thomas is a campaign forged by a local public-private coalition involving the Virgin Islands Energy Office, UVI’s Caribbean Green Technology Center, Rotary Club of St. Thomas East ECO, Environmental Association of St. Thomas-St. John, Virgin Islands Conservation Society, VI Electric Vehicle Assoc.-North, and Solar Crowdsource. Lowering the cost of solar energy and battery storage installations through the power of bulk-purchasing, reducing contractor acquisition costs and transferring those savings to the residential and commercial residents of St. Thomas is the goal of the Solarize St. Thomas campaign, which will launch in early 2021.
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