Commercial-Scale Solar Group Purchase Program

April 1, 2019 update: The Solar Workgroup of Southwest Virginia (SWVA) has issued its second Commercial-Scale Solar Group Purchase RFP, seeking bids from solar developers for 12 projects totaling 2.73 MW of solar capacity. See the press release here.

This program offers an opportunity for businesses, government, and nonprofit entities to go solar and save money on your electricity bills. Interested developers who wish to bid on the aggregated projects can register to attend the site tours on April 11-12 by contacting Austin Counts by April 5 at A mandatory pre-bid meeting for developers will be held in Norton, VA on April 12th at 3:00pm. Click here to register to attend the pre-bid meeting via webinar, or contact Austin to register to attend in person.

Installing solar on your property allows you to generate your own electricity, saving money on your monthly utility bill. The Solar Group Purchase opportunity gathers together interested property owners in a Solar Cohort and invites solar developers to submit bids to build the projects for all projects in the Solar Cohort. A key objective of the Group Purchase is to identify financing options that require no up-front costs for building owners, and that are cash-flow positive from day one. By grouping projects together, we can negotiate a lower cost for each participant, meaning greater savings on your utility bill.

Important dates for the second Group Purchase program include:

  • RFP Issue Date: April 1, 2019
  • Deadline for interested developers to RSVP for optional site tours: April 5, 2019
  • Optional site tours: April 11-12, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Mandatory pre-proposal conference (in person in Norton or click here to register to participate remotely): April 12, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Notice of Intent to Submit Proposal due: April 19, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Questions from developer respondents due: May 13, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Final answers to respondent questions available: May 14, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Developer proposals/bids due: May 21, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Selection committee + participant bid review call: May 28, 2019
  • Interview with shortlisted respondents: June 4, 2019 (REVISED)
  • Notice of Intent to Award issue date: June 5, 2019

The deadline to join the Cohort for this second program was March 15, 2019, but if you are interested in joining the third round to be held later in 2019, fill out this form today and we’ll be in touch!

Read our Participant Guide to find out everything you need to know about participating in the Group Purchase Program.

PaleBlueDot adapted and prepared Solar Ready Guidelines based off of one of the cities they are doing climate action planning with.  It is adapted to be Virginia-specific and re-branded for the Solar Workgroup.  This document is intended to help build awareness of building design decisions that will make properties the best fit for solar as possible.

The Solar Workgroup is facilitating this group purchase as part of its mission to utilize the development of solar energy as an economic catalyst in the seven-county region of far SWVA. The Solar Workgroup will gather a group of interested building owners and issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to solar installers to the region that agree to provide training opportunities for local residents through the installation process. In this way, we are attracting a growing industry to the region while lowering electricity costs for participating property owners and providing on-the-job training opportunities for local residents.

If you’re interested in learning more, contact Chelsea Barnes with the Solar Workgroup at

Available Resources:

This site will be updated with more information for participants and developers as it becomes available – check back soon!

Southwest Virginia Solar Development Pre-Bid Meeting/Webinar