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Build-Ready Request for Proposals (RFP)


Closed: Build-Ready Request for Proposals (RFP)

This RFP is now closed. Step Two Bid Proposals were due March 14, 2024. NYSERDA is evaluating Step Two Bid Proposals and plans to award the project in 2024.

NYSERDA’s Build-Ready Program is currently in the process of auctioning its first project, seeking a partner to transform a former mine in St. Lawrence County into one of the largest solar projects in New York’s Adirondack Park.

The Build-Ready Program ran a competitive Request for Proposals (BRRFP23-1) Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. for the Build-Ready (BR) Benson Mines Solar Project, a 12 MWac solar facility located in St. Lawrence County and sited within the boundaries of Benson Mines on a former iron-ore tailings pile. Once operational, it’s expected to generate enough renewable energy to power up to 3,000 homes annually.

NYSERDA worked with community leaders, business partners, and regional partner agencies to develop the project. NYSERDA entered into an exclusive lease option agreement with Benson Mines Inc. for the project area and has fully permitted the project with the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). NYSERDA advanced the project to the Facilities Study of the state’s interconnection process with the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO) and provided interconnection cost estimates to eligible Proposers. NYSERDA collaborated with the Town of Clifton to ensure the project complements the community's character and long-term economic development plans. NYSERDA and the St. Lawrence County Industrial Development Agency (SLCIDA) advanced the project’s PILOT Agreement and established a Host Community Improvement Benefit Fund to be managed by SLCIDA. The fund’s purpose is to advance and support projects that have local impact and align with community and regional interests.

Through BRRFP23-1, the Build-Ready Program will award, sell, and transfer the Benson Mines solar project to an eligible Proposer to complete the remaining development milestones, finance, construct, own and operate the project. The awarded Proposer will enter into a Membership Interest Purchase Agreement (MIPA) to buy the project from NYSERDA and a 20-year agreement to sell Tier 1 Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) generated by the Benson Mines solar project (REC Agreement) to NYSERDA.

The BRRFP23-1 was implemented through a two-step process, consisting of:

  1. Step One Eligibility Application: A qualifying step, in which Proposers had to demonstrate their technical and financial ability to meet all the minimum eligibility qualifications to design, secure financing for, construct, and own and operate the Benson Mines solar project. Proposers whose Step One Eligibility Applications were found to be complete and that met all the minimum eligibility qualifications received a Notice of Qualification and were invited to submit a Step Two Bid Proposal.
  2. Step Two Bid Proposal: A competitive step, in which Proposers submitted a Bid Proposal, including a Bid Price, to NYSERDA. NYSERDA will examine and evaluate Bid Proposals based on price and non-price factors including the Proposer’s qualifications, Project Execution Plan, economic benefits the Proposer can provide to New York State, the host community, New York State-certified Minority- and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Businesses (SDVOBs), and any surrounding Disadvantaged Communities, and the Proposer’s competitive REC Bid Price.

Only those Proposers found eligible, based on meeting all Minimum Eligibility Qualifications, under Step One were permitted to submit a Step Two Bid Proposal.

Step One Informational Webinar

NYSERDA hosted an informational webinar to provide an overview of the Benson Mines Solar project, the RFP, and the Step One Eligibility Application process on October 17, 2023 at 11 AM ET.

Comments or Questions to NYSERDA on Step One Eligibility Application

Interested participants were invited to submit written questions on the Step One Eligibility Application and requirements no later than Friday, October 27, 2023, to [email protected]. NYSERDA posted the responses to the written questions on Friday, November 17, 2023.

Step One Eligibility Application Due Date: December 7, 2023, 3:00 p.m. ET

Proposers had to submit the full Step One Eligibility Application including the Step One Eligibility Application Form (Appendix 1 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.) and other requested attachments and information, as described in Part II. Section 2.1 Eligibility Application Requirements in the BRRFP23-1 Summary Document, using the link: Build-Ready Project Auction Request for Proposals (BRRFP23-1) Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page. by 3:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, December 7, 2023. Proposers were encouraged to use the BRRFP23-1 Checklist (Appendix 4 Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.) to ensure complete applications are submitted. It was the Proposer’s responsibility to ensure that all required information is provided. Late submissions will not be accepted.

The current schedule for BRRFP23-1 is as follows (all times ET):

Activity Date
RFP Release Date Monday, October 2, 2023
NYSERDA opens Step One Eligibility Application Monday, October 2, 2023
Step One Proposer’s Webinar [PDF] Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Responses to Step One Webinar Questions Posted [PDF] Wednesday, October 25, 2023
Deadline for Submission of Step One Questions Friday, October 27, 2023
Responses to Written Questions Posted [PDF] Friday, November 17, 2023
RFP Addendum Deadline (if issued) Monday, November 20, 2023
Deadline for Step One Eligibility Application Submission Thursday, December 7, 2023
NYSERDA responds with Notice of Qualification Determinations Thursday, January 11, 2024
NYSERDA opens Step Two Bid Proposal and Data Room Thursday, January 11, 2024
Step Two Proposers’ Webinar for Qualified Proposers Tuesday, January 23, 2024
First Round Responses Posted to Step Two Questions Posted to Data Room Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Deadline for Submission of Step Two Questions Thursday, February 22, 2024
Second Round Responses Posted to Data Room Thursday, February 29, 2024
RFP Addendum Deadline (if issued) Thursday, February 22, 2024
Deadline for Bid Fee Submission Thursday, March 7, 2024
Deadline for Step Two Bid Proposal Submission Thursday, March 14, 2024
NYSERDA notifies Proposer receiving Award Q2 2024
Agreements Executed Q3 2024

Please note that the above dates are subject to change. Notification of any changes to the RFP schedule or documents will be posted on this webpage and sent via email to those parties who have submitted contact information to NYSERDA’s Build-Ready Program Email List Sign-Up Page.

Application Submission

Step One Eligibility Application Link opens in new window - close new window to return to this page.

Associated Documents


[email protected]