ACCESSolar Questions and Answers

Session 1 (5/18/2023)

Q1: Is this a prevailing wage project?

A1: Wages for these projects will be governed by the applicable laws and regulations of New York City and New York State. Since these projects are third-party leases for which NYCHA will not cover any capital costs or provide any financial security, it is not expected that these projects would fall under the definition of “public work.” Certain Federal Investment Tax Credit adders available under the Inflation Reduction Act may require the project to pay prevailing wage; Project Developers are encouraged to access any and all appropriate incentives and are responsible for compliance with associated rules and regulations.

Q2: Who will own the system once build?

A2: All ACCESSolar projects are third-party roof leases that will be owned and operated by the Lessee. NYCHA will neither own nor operate the systems. The Project Developer is responsible for securing financing and either a) signing a lease with NYCHA directly or b) bringing in the system’s long-term owner during the lease negotiation process.

Q3: Do we need to submit preliminary layouts with our RFP response?

A3: Preliminary layouts (in Helioscope or equivalent format) are not required but are welcome and will assist NYCHA in the evaluation process. Please note the “Project Technical Approach, System Designs, and Construction Plan” evaluation category on page 29 of the Solicitation.

Q4: While it might be early to discuss our question, what are your plans in terms of the subscriber acquisition and management of these projects? Our company doesn't develop community solar projects, we service multiple developers in NY state as well as other states across the country on everything subscriber related (acquisition, management, billing, customer service, etc.)

A4: NYCHA will not be handling subscriber acquisition. Subscriber management is a crucial role within the Proposal team and NYCHA expects that Proposals will include organizations fulfilling that role. Lessees will be fully responsible for planning and implementing subscriber acquisition, in partnership with any organizations deemed necessary to help teams do so.

Q5: Have there been roofing studies done for solar buildability and if so, can you provide those studies?

A5: NYCHA developments are generally expected to be able to handle the load of solar PV rooftop installations: several NYCHA developments already host rooftop solar PV installations, and sites in this ACCESSolar solicitation have roofs that have been replaced recently (in all cases less than ten years old). NYCHA has not specifically conducted solar buildability studies at these sites, and the Project Developer will be responsible for requesting site visits and architectural drawings to confirm buildability.

Q6: Do buildings under a “development” have a separate meter. If they have separate meters, do they have interconnection points for each building?

A6: The developments selected in this ACCESSolar solicitation generally feature separate electrical meters and interconnections at each building, with few if any exceptions. Meter information for NYCHA developments is available publicly on NYC Open Data at Electric Consumption And Cost (2010 - Feb 2023) | NYC Open Data (; this info can and should be confirmed on site by Project Developers during the lease negotiation/Proposal finalization period.

Q7: What are the eligibility requirements to enroll in the Clean Energy Academy? Who is responsible for marketing (NYCHA or the proposer) and are they paid?

A7: Participants must be authorized NYCHA residents, over 18 years of age, fully vaccinated, and have a high school diploma or HSE. Enrollees are also required to achieve a minimum score on a math and reading exam, to gain entrance. NYCHA is conducting outreach and recruitment to identify qualified candidates for entry into the Academy. The project developer is responsible for devising a strategy to maximize outreach to Academy trainees and will be responsible for paying their employees once hired.

Q8: Are NYCHA residents put through the apprenticeship (Clean Energy Academy) on a path to full time employment with a proposer?

A8: Academy trainees will 280-hours of skills and workforce preparation, safety and industry certifications, and specialized training focused on building electrification, energy efficiency, and solar PV installation basics. This program is intended to prepare residents to meet NYCHA’s need for clean energy jobs, including:

  • Jobs with NYCHA contractors performing energy efficiency and electrification projects,
  • Direct hire jobs at NYCHA installing and operating equipment for project like the Clean Heat for All Challenge, and
  • Union employees who are NYCHA residents, to be achieved using REES’ direct entry relationship with union apprenticeship programs

Q9: What do people usually receive at the end of the apprenticeship? A badge? degree? certificate? etc.

A9: Trainees will receive a certificate indicating that they are graduates of the NYCHA Clean Energy Academy. In addition, the curriculum includes training and testing leading to the achievement of certifications in the following:

  • NCCER Core Introduction to Construction Skills
  • OSHA 30
  • 4-Hour Flagger Certification
  • 4-Hour Scaffold User Certification
  • 10-Hour Site Safety Training: Fall Prevention & Drug Alcohol Awareness
  • Asbestos and Confined Space Awareness
  • Introduction to Material Handling

Q10: Is there a point of contact to speak about the structure of the program, curriculum for the academy, etc?

A10: Please email with inquires related to the NYCHA Clean Energy Academy and a representative from the project team will reach out to connect. Individuals with interest in attending an upcoming info session can register at here or contact the REES hotline at (718) 289-8100.

Q11: Will there be a phase 2 that totals up to 30MW by 2026?

A11: NYCHA expects that there will be future opportunities for solar on NYCHA rooftops in the coming years to reach the 30 MW goal.

Q12: For NYCHA facility benefits - will that be community solar subscribers, what other types of benefits can NYCHA facilities want to have? - anchor subscription?

A12: Proposals are welcome to include anchor tenants in their subscription/outreach plans so long as the required percentage of the power is reserved for LMI households. Proposers are additionally welcome to come up with creative solutions to drive additional benefits to the developments that will host solar. For example, one Proposal team from our first round of ACCESSolar included a proposal to provide free wi-fi to residents of the buildings on which solar was installed. All the NYCHA developments in this solicitation are master-metered sites where residents do not pay their own electric bills.

Q13: Can NYCHA share warranty documents?

A13: Yes. Proposers may request roof warranties via email to

Q14: How were the minimum proposal requirements determined? It seems the min is sometimes less than half of the estimated capacity, other times much more than half the est. capacity.

A14: The minimum proposal requirements were determined bundle-by-bundle and are informed by expected site conditions. In all cases, the goal is that multiple developments for each bundle must be included in Proposers’ plans, while also allowing for careful system sizing and flexibility to choose a subset of sites where warranted.

Q15: Is NYCHA interested in siting batteries where possible? Which sites are feasible?

A15: Proposers may include battery storage in their proposals if said inclusion of storage facilitates higher lease payments or otherwise improves the benefits of the project to NYCHA and its residents. Proposers should be aware that battery storage may require heightened design and stakeholder review and/or increased insurance requirements. Proposers should conduct their own analysis to see where storage might be feasible, and should anticipate that NYCHA’s approval for a battery system will not be guaranteed. Proposers who wish to include battery storage in their designs are strongly encouraged to submit multiple financial proposals and/or copies of Attachment E, one in case the battery designs are approved, and one in case they cannot be approved on site.

Q16: Will tenants be participating in selection? How are tenants engaged in the RFP process?

A16: Yes, there will be a NYCHA resident participating in the evaluation process.

Q17: Can developers and other parties like EPCs participate in multiple bids?

A17: Yes.

Q18: Can NYCHA provide some clarity on the expectation of solely sourcing residents from the Clean Energy Academy? Or is it a recommendation to coordinate and interview from the Academy?

A18: Proposers are not required to solely hire residents from the NYCHA Clean Energy Academy trainees, but they are expected to commit to interviewing Academy trainees for available positions.