Clean Energy Generation Project Workflow

    1. Coordinate with Host facility, solar contractor, and Project Director in preparation for design development and working drawings

    DGS will conduct introductory meetings with Host staff, contractor, developer, and design team to ensure all parties are in agreement before proceeding with the design development of the working drawings for the project.


    b. Foundation documents

    DGS will provide the contractor/developer a topographical area available for the system. The original site layout may be impacted by the findings resulting from pre-design development efforts. DGS and Host staff will attempt to provide any As-built drawings for the area in question. Host staff will endeavor to identify any know obstacles both above and below ground.


    i. Existing site conditions

    DGS will work with the Host staff to identify utility infrastructure and assess the condition and age of the infrastructure. DGS and the Host staff will evaluate the site conditions to anticipate any potential constructability issues. The scope of the project will be outlined and agreed upon by DGS and the contractor/developer.

    ii. System impacts to site

    Project phasing and temporary relocation will be discussed with the design team. Site issues such as tree and shrub removal, ingress and egress, canopy heights, fire access roads, maintenance roads, laydown and storage areas, structural integrity issues (primarily rooftop projects), equipment re-locations and infrastructure upgrades, lighting requirements during and after construction, security measures, etc. will be incorporated into the design documents. Schedules will be developed with milestones and sufficient task detail to plan for the design work and construction progress.

    1. Program outline with client agency

      Explain to the Host department how the program works financially. Review the entire project delivery process. Go over the main terms and conditions related to the Site License Agreement (SLA) and Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Secure a commitment with state agencies interested in on site energy generation.

    2. Gather electrical usage data per facility and determine how much energy (kWh) is needed

      Clients provide electrical usage information from their Utility (12 months of Utility billing information). DGS determines what size system would be needed per facility/location in order to meet the facility’s green energy goals.

    3. Determine usable areas of property for installation

      DGS will assess the facility to see if there is sufficient space to layout systems in open fields, on roofs, and in existing parking areas to achieve the energy goals. DGS will further assess site’s geographical conditions related to electrical infrastructure, shading, vegetation, directional orientation, easements, recorded rights, tax analysis, etc. to determine system size-space compatibility.

    4. Develop a site plan and estimated the system’s electrical output

      DGS will produce layouts that are custom fit to meet the facility’s design preference and program needs. DGS will provide cost estimates for the various layouts to optimize lasting savings over the life span of the SLA/PPA agreements. The client agency makes final decision to move forward with the project and to include the facility in an upcoming DGS Solar RFP.

    5. Bundle projects and release a Request for Proposal (RFP)

      Projects moving forward into a RFP are typically bundled by Agency and/or geographical area to allow DGS staff and bidders to be more efficient. Consolidation of projects can produce cost savings when multiple projects are part of the RFP. The RFP is posted to the eProcure website

    6. Conduct Site Visits, provide available utility data, and answer questions

      DGS manages the bid and award process. DGS staff coordinate site visits with Host staff and solar vendors. DGS and Host staff interact with each facility’s Utility provider to develop infrastructure profiles. DGS staff will work with Host staff to answer questions by solar vendors during the Q and A phase of the RFP.

    7. Evaluate Bid Submittals and Award projects

    Solar vendors will submit their RFP bid response and DGS evaluates each proposal to make sure the bids are responsive to all requirements. DGS reviews the winning bid response providing the greatest Net Present Value savings (NPV) for each project and presents that information to the host department to determine whether they still want to move forward with the project. DGS then awards the bids to the solar vendor. DGS handles any bid protests, public record requests, and bid defense.

    1. Execute contracts

      DGS staff will work with the awarded solar vendor to review the terms and conditions of the SLA and PPA documents. Bid proposals will be analyzed to determine the proposed estimated electrical energy production (EEP), pricing, and cost savings to be included in the PPA. DGS coordinates the signature and execution process which will allow the projects to move into design and construction phases.

    2. Arrange Due Diligence for the Host property

      DGS’s Real Estate staff will review the location of the proposed project to ensure it does not interfere with overhead or underground utilities, easements, leases, and/or Rights of Way. DGS works with the client agency to determine if there are any recorded and unrecorded rights or business enterprises. DGS works with client agencies to explore the possibility of future or planned use for the land in the area the project will be located. DGS will recommend alternative locations or cancel the project if no alternatives are available.

    3. Ensure CEQA is performed by solar contractor

      DGS requires that the solar vendor comply with environmental requirements for each project location. DGS partners with the vendors CEQA consultant to determine if an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), a Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND), or a Notice of Exemption (NOE) is needed. DGS aides in the negotiations with environmental agencies to keep costs contained. DGS supports the vendor’s consultant with supplemental mitigation development, recommends document edits, and advises on procedural issues. In many cases DGS will sign the declaration on behalf of the client agency. DGS will cancel the project if mitigation becomes cost prohibitive and no alternatives are available.

    4. Perform Tax Analysis for Bond-Encumbered properties

      DGS and the State Public Works Board will perform a Tax Analysis on any property that is bond-encumbered to ensure that a solar installation will not change the status of the Tax Exempt Bonds. In some cases, the tax analysis is limited to the actual area where the system is going to be located. In other cases, the analysis can be more extensive and include areas outside of the development area. DGS works directly with the DOF bond counsel to perform the analysis and form conclusions. DGS will cancel the project if tax analysis determines the bond status could be impacted and no alternatives are available.

    5. Interconnection Agreement

    DGS, Host staff, and the contractor/developer will work with the Utility to secure a utility infrastructure study, estimate, and required upgrades for the project. The contractor/developers applies for and pays for the utility study. The contractor/developer manages the interconnection effort and negotiates the scope and costs of the utility company’s design and infrastructure upgrades. In some cases, the facility will ultimately sign the Interconnection Agreement and other times the contractor/ developer will sign the agreement.

    1. SFM/DGS/Host approval of drawings

      The drawings must be submitted by the solar vendor to the State Fire Marshal for review and approval.  DGS and Host will also receive a copy of the drawings and will have an opportunity to peer review and approve/accept the project design.

    2. Construction schedule and project planning

      DGS will review and approve contractor’s detailed project schedule. DGS will arrange for Construction Inspection and conduct pre-construction meetings. Facility needs and site conditions will be discussed in detail and an action plan will be developed before construction begins.

    3. Establish a communication plan

      DGS will develop a plan to disseminate and receive information. This will include roles and responsibilities, contact information, identify decision makers, construction management tools such as RFIs, Submittals, change order requests etc. DGS project manager will set meetings during construction at the job site which includes the stakeholders. These meetings will include reviewing schedule updates, work progress, construction issues, site issues, design issues, facility program issues, and other items related to construction operations.

    4. Construction

      DGS project manager will be responsible for managing the project’s construction and coordinating with the contractor’s construction manager, inspector, and Host. Project information will flow through the DGS project manager and decisions will be the responsibility of the project manager. The project manager will interpret and enforce the contract terms and conditions. The project manager will communicate with the Host concerning issues which could impact Host operations. The DGS project manager is the arbiter of misunderstandings, disputes, complaints, work requests, and any other issue related to performance. 

    5. Testing and inspection

      The DGS inspector and project manager will be responsible to manage and inspect the system buildout and system tests throughout construction. DGS will be responsible for enforcing quality, professional workmanship, materials and equipment compliance, repairs, documentation compliance, DGS can issue inspection reports, equipment and material acceptance and rejections, exceptions to work performed, deficiency notices, and stop work notices. DGS will verify and review the System Testing and Inspection has occurred.

    6. Facility impact

      The project manager and inspector will mitigate the impact to operations during project buildout. Items such as emergencies, injuries, loss of power, disrupted or damaged communication infrastructure, broken utility lines, broken water and irrigation lines, safety and security, securing site, laydown and storage area access, staff access and parking parking, tree removal, special inspections, entry into secure areas, unacceptable behaviors, wash stations and toilet facilities, temporary lighting, delays, deliveries, noise, dust, damaged vehicles, impromptu briefings, temporary shut downs, utility shutdowns, UPS protection, power shedding and ramp up, hours of operation, etc. shall be handled by the project manager and inspector.

    7. Interconnection, system activation, and commissioning

      DGS will witness and inspect the equipment and interconnection to the local Utility company infrastructure after the appropriate testing has occurred. DGS will witness and inspect the equipment and interconnection into the sites infrastructure after the appropriate testing has occurred. The system’s successful tests will be witnessed and verified by DGS before the system is allowed to begin providing power to the facility. DGS will approve system activation and will share the system activation and commissioning dates with Host staff.


    8. Final inspection

      DGS will conduct final inspection of the system and determine all punch list items have been satisfied. DGS will work with contractor to provide all the final reports and documentation required for project completion and close out. The project manager will confirm the manuals, as built drawings, and staff training and been completed and provided to the Host. The project manager will turn over the job site to the Host.

    9. Review Host agency’s first bill from developer

      DGS project manager will review the first bill for accuracy and correct format. The project manager will work with the Host to ensure they understand the bill/invoice format and that billing is correct and accurate. DGS will direct contractor to make corrections as necessary. DGS will support the Host staff and verify the staff’s ability to interpret and comprehend the billing format.

    10. Confirm Web access and reporting format

    Once completed, the system will have the ability to report the EEP in real time.  The Host will be given access to a website which will provide production information over the life of the project. The site will have the ability to breakdown reportable information into report formats, graphs, tables, or monthly data tables.


Glenn Connor, Program Manager

Department of General Services
Executive Office of Sustainability

707 Third St, Fourth Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605

Contact Information: 

☎ (916) 375-4903


DGS helps state agencies go solar