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Hello

My agency is putting together a SOW for commercial items consisting of Solar Panels and Batteries along with installation for two remote National Parks, however they do not know what will best work best for the two visitor centers so they are leaving the Mfg, Make, and Model specifications for everything up to the contractors to recommend what will work best?

Frankly I have no idea how to evaluate this if under price and if several different makes and models of solar panels and batteries are suggested by the vendors.

Under FAR 52.212-2 Evaluation of Commercial Items how would I list the Evaluation Factors for such an award and then how do you evaluate this kind of procurement?

Any suggestions would be appreciated

Thanks everyone
Lonnie

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If the agency doesn't really care about the arrangement of panels and batteries, but only wants an arrangement that works and produces __ kilowatts per hour and provides a constant stream of __ volts during daylight hours and __ volts during nighttime hours(or whatever), then that's what your requirement description should say.

You can do your evaluation as price-only. You don't care about the particulars -- you only care about results. That's a good approach.

If you want to evaluate the technical acceptability, you can do that as low-price-technically-acceptable. You might also consider an up-or-down market acceptance criteria -- see FAR 11.103.

However, if you're interested in doing a good-better-best comparison, and you might be willing to pay more for best, well, you can do that, too.

Do you have evaluators who are competent to do an evaluation? You know, you can contract for expert services to help you with your planning and to do your technical evaluation -- see FAR 37.204.

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Looks like some good information ji20874
Thanks I read over the references and see what I have.

I believe we have some good Engineers who can make that determination, and I'll look over the SOW to see what they have broke down, I think they need more specs for minimum standards?

Thanks again

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Guest Vern Edwards

Lonnie:

I'm not sure what good information you think you just got, but I suggest that you call some of the other parks and maybe the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Forest Service and find out who else has bought solar panels and installation for visitors' facilities and ask for their advice about requirements, makes and models, installers, maintenance, warranties, and evaluation factors. Call offices with geography and weather that are like the places where you want to install.

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I've checked FBO but only found agencies where they identified the Solar Panels and Batteries
What I'm running into is they want to be told what Panels and Batteries would work best and I'm not sure how to evaluate different models and manufactures...

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Guest Vern Edwards

Aren't you in touch with other offices of the Park Service? Can't you pick up a phone and call around?

The bedrock for any evaluation will be your requirement. The requirement will determine what is acceptable. If you don't know what your requirement is, then you'll have to do some market research and then base your requirement on what you know about your facility and what you learn about the various products. The requirement is the evaluation baseline.

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Yep Vern that's the rub
We have no bedrock. No Base - They don't know what they want and so they want to be told what they want. I did some Market Research and I did find examples of what "I" found they could procure which was spelled out in other FS awards I found within IAS and FBO but not having any knowledge of Solar Panels or the systems then I'm not going to be the one who evaluates the bids.

They are talking "Price" being the only evaluation credential. However, I know no other value to assign and I'm afraid that if we go with Solar Panel "C" from xyz Inc, cause we can afford better than "A" and "B" then vendor 123.inc will come back with a protest stating "I could have provided Panel "C" for less the price... See where my hesitation on just doing a Price Evaluation.

I'm new to this agency so I don't have a good pool of CS to reach out to yet.

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Are you going to award a contract for Solar Panal "C" from xyz company? Or are you going to award a contract for a solar system that provides __ kilowatts per hour and provides a constant stream of __ volts during daylight hours and __ volts during nighttime hours?

Let's use an illustration... You could award a contract for two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Or, you could award a contract for a Big Mac hamburger.

Please consider contracting for expert services to help you with your planning and to do your technical evaluation -- see FAR 37.204. The pennies you spend could save you thousands later. Or, do some market research and ask prospective contractors how they would recommend you conduct your acquisition -- ask for specifics on CLIN structure and evaluation criteria.

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Guest Vern Edwards

You can't just tell companies to propose a system. You have to provide them with information about your system needs. Will you be off-grid or will the system be intertied? What kind of structure do you have? What are its dimensions? How much sun do you get? Are you on the Olympic Peninsula or in Arizona? Is your visitor's center the size of the one at the Grand Canyon or the one in the Hoh Rainforest? What are your power requirements?

Look, you're a buyer, right? Do you know how to buy? Well, then, do some market research. Think. Help your clients. Get up to speed. Become THE solar power system guru.

Here are some sources of information about system needs analysis and specification:

https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/residential/pdfs/rerh_pv_guide.pdf

http://www.affordable-solar.com/residential-solar-home/Residential-Calculator

http://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/equipment-products/understanding-pv-module-specifications

http://www.npcpsolar.com/images/SRSInstallationGuide.pdf

http://www.cnfocussolar.com/pdf/1KW%20Off.pdf

There are many more such sources of info.

Study up. Show your clients that you can take the lead. Once you undedrstand your need you can start thinking about evaluation criteria and methods.

Now sign off Wifcon and get to it. Consider this an opportunity to excel.

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Update
I've talked them into performing a RFI with a sight visit and buffing up their specifications.

Thank you for the input fellas, very good points

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Great looking stuff Vern
I'll read up on the information you provided. Thanks for taking the time to dig that up!

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Guest Vern Edwards
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