Solar Energy Contracts: 3 Things to Expect When Tendering

Published29th March 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

The benefits of tendering for solar energy contracts in the public sector

Solar energy contracts can be confusing if you don’t know what to expect. You can expect to find opportunities in both the private and public sector. Solar energy contracts are more abundant in the public sector. There are many advantages to winning a contract and they can be lucrative opportunities for your business. Typically, solar energy contracts are used for the provision and installation of solar panels.

Solar energy contracts can range from thousands to multi-millions. Most recently, Aberystwyth University unveiled plans for a £2.5 million investment in ground-mount solar PV. Many businesses and universities are taking greater steps into becoming carbon neutral, turning to renewable and sustainable energy.

Both the public and private sectors are looking to invest more in green and innovative solutions. They coincide with the Prime Ministers Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution. It’s expected that there are soon to be many more solar energy contracts in order to meet these sustainability targets.

Why tender for work?

If you are on the fence about tendering for work, you may be wondering if the hassle is worth it. Well, there are multiple benefits and advantages when tendering for work. These include: 

  1. The Government’s SME spending target

If you’re an SME, you may be wondering if you even have a chance tendering for work against bigger multi-nationals. Well, all is not lost. The government has an aim to spend £1 in £3 with SMEs by 2022. This means that the government is actively looking to award contracts to smaller businesses. There has never been a better time to consider tendering as a viable route for business expansion.

  1. Guaranteed pay in the public sector

One of the biggest advantages of tendering for work is that you are guaranteed payment. This is applicable if applying for solar energy contracts in the public sector. Successful suppliers are guaranteed pay upon winning a contract. The Crown Commissioning Service (CCS) must comply with the Prompt Payment Code. This means that they must pay within 60-days on invoicing which is reassuring to any business.

  1. Securing a pipeline of work

Winning a position on a framework or Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) can secure a pipeline of work for your business. Contracts on these systems can range in duration from a few months to multiple years, with the possibility of extension. This can help drive sustainability for your business when applying for solar energy contracts.

Hopefully, the above points have persuaded you that tendering is a viable route that can help grow your business. Next, you may be wondering what you can expect when tendering for solar energy contracts.

3 things to expect when bidding for solar energy contracts

  1. You may need to join a framework agreement

Solar energy contracts can often be found as part of a framework agreement. Framework agreements are multi-supplier agreements that are used by the public sector to procure goods or services. The length of framework agreements can last years and occasionally offer the possibility of an extension.

Framework agreements are often split up into lots. These lots are used for a specific good, service or location. They allow suppliers to tender for work, applying for the lot(s) that they can deliver. This means they don’t have to be able to provide all aspects of the contract. Depending on the framework agreement, suppliers can apply for multiple lots with the maximum typically being three. If this is an option, buyer’s will likely require evidential proof that if successful you can fulfil their needs.

  1. The most economically advantageous tender wins

A public sector contract will usually be awarded to the most economically advantageous tender, known as the MEAT. This means that buyers are looking at more than just price. It’s worth noting that the cheapest bid does not always win. They are often looking at a range of factors within your bid for solar energy contracts.

The public sector must deliver the most value for money when it comes to public spending of the taxpayer’s money. The buyer will look at a combination of factors that could include the following:

  • Innovation
  • Sustainability
  • Quality
  • Accessibility
  • Technical ability
  • Ability to deliver on time.
  1. Be prepared to demonstrate social value

Social value has a mandatory minimum weighting of 10% in public sector contracts. In some tenders, it may be as much as 30%, so it’s not something you should gloss over. Social value in solar energy contracts should focus on the environmental, economic and social aspects when carrying out the contract. Although the nature of solar energy contracts is green and sustainable in nature, social value is still important. Your business could include the following aspects:

  • COVID-19 recovery
  • Supporting the local community
  • Creating new jobs and skills tackling unemployment
  • Environmental considerations such as tackling climate change
  • Equality and diversity policies
  • Reducing waste and encouraging recycling
  • Paying National Living Wage to employees to tackle economic inequality.

Need assistance with writing a tender for solar energy contracts?

Sometimes you might not have the experience, resources or time in-house to write a winning bid response. Our sister company, Hudson Succeed, have over 60 years of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. They offer four bid writing support services that can help you win your next bid for solar energy contracts.

Tender Writing

Once you’ve found the perfect solar energy contract for your business, why not send it to Hudson Succeed? Our Bid Writers can take care of it all for you. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown. They’ll even submit it on your behalf.

Tender Ready

Our Tender Ready programme is perfect for those who have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to make sure you have everything you need in place to tender successfully. The 4-week programme offers your business:

  • A 12-month subscription to Facilities Tenders
  • Access to Global Bid Directors and Senior Bidding professionals
  • An organisation-wide Bid Library, including 3 case studies, 5 CV’s and 8 policies
  • Additional flexible benefit options.

Tender Improvement

If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing the results you want, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents, working with you to improve for future submissions.

Tender Mentor

If you’ve written your own tender response and need someone to double-check it for errors, Tender Mentor can help. The Bid Team will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They’ll also ensure that it’s in line with the specification before you submit it.

How to source solar energy contracts

Sourcing the right solar energy contracts for your business can create quite a headache. Searching for opportunities can turn into a full-time job. Thousands of websites across the UK post multi-industry tenders daily. Keeping track of the right opportunities for your business can take hours. Hours you could be spending on running your business. Luckily for you, we have a solution.

Our Facilities Tenders portal hosts all the live tendering opportunities within the facilities management and energy industry. Our Opportunity Trackers source and upload exclusive, public and private sector opportunities from across the UK.

You are able to filter and search for the results by keyword, budget, location and more. Gone are the days of relying on inaccurate CPV codes! Our tender portal is the perfect time-saving tool, helping you find the right tender opportunities for your business.

Below are previous solar energy contracts sourced on our portal:

1.2MWp Solar Farm, Solar PV, Battery Storage and Private Wire E.P.C and Maintenance Services

Exeter City Council- South West- Budget: Undisclosed

Daventry District Council- DC Isolation of Solar Arrays Industrial Buildings and Daventry Leisure Centre

LGSS- East Midlands- Budget: Undisclosed

Electrical Balance of Plant Services for Timahoe Solar Farm

Bord Na Mona- International- Budget: £5,000,000

Installation of Solar Panels at the Depot

Harrow Council- Yorkshire and Humber- Budget: Undisclosed

Installation of Solar Photovoltaic Panels for Powis Hall Market

Oswestry Town Council- West Midlands- Budget: £80,000

We also track opportunities for the following sub-sectors:

Book a free live demo today to learn how we can grow your business!

What’s included in a subscription to Facilities Tenders? 

A subscription to our Facilities Tenders portal offers your business:

  • Access to all unique, private and public sector opportunities across the facilities management and energy industry.
  • A dedicated Account Manager to answer any questions you may have about finding solar energy contacts.
  • A daily email bulletin sent straight to your inbox when new tenders are uploaded that day.
  • Discounted support from Hudson Succeed, our bid writing division.
  • 20-minutes of free consultancy with one of our Bid Consultants.

Want to save even more time?

Upgrading to Discover Elite allows you to identify tendering opportunities – even when you’re busy. Our two upgraded packages can improve your competitor awareness and bidding success rate. Each can help save you even more time when searching for solar energy contracts for your business.

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Facilities and Logistics, for example.
  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid strategy.
  • Weekly phone calls with your Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package offers your business:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.

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