April 4: Kick-Off and Workshop #1

Join us April 4 at 6pm at the Fire Island Rustic Bake Shop in Airport Heights to learn how you can be a part of bringing affordable solar to your community.

Bringing low cost solar panels to your neighborhood

Solarize Anchorage is a joint effort between the Alaska Center and the Alaska Center for Energy and Power (ACEP) at the University of Alaska to make residential and small commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems more accessible and affordable for homeowners and commercial property owners in the Anchorage Municipality.

Solarize Anchorage brings neighbors together to purchase solar panels as a group to receive discounted rates on panels and installation. It will provide home and business owners less expensive panels by pairing group discount rates with available state and federal incentives. This initial round of the Solarize Anchorage campaign will assist the Airport Heights Community in selecting solar PV installers through a competitive bidding process.

The Solarize program has been widely used in the lower 48. It allows neighbors in specific geographic areas to organize for the collective purchase of solar installation. Check out the NREL guidebook if you are interested in learning more about the Solarize concept >>


Solarize Anchorage is seeking proposals from qualified firms willing to provide for group purchase of solar photovoltaic (PV) system installation in conjunction with the Solarize Anchorage Airport Heights campaign. The goal of Solarize Anchorage is to accelerate solar PV energy education and installations in Anchorage through group purchasing and a competitive bidding process. For this first round of Solarize Anchorage, participant eligibility is targeted to residents and businesses within the geographic area represented by the Airport Heights Community Council.

The intent of this RFP is to select one firm to provide recruitment, system design and installation services, and ongoing customer service for eligible participants in the Airport Heights Neighborhood of Anchorage who wish to participate in this round of Solarize Anchorage. Solarize Anchorage reserves the right to choose a second firm in the event of overwhelming demand.

Interested contractors should fill this form out to receive the RFP>>

Frequently Asked Questions:

Participant Questions

How can I participate if I don’t live in Airport Heights?
The Solarize concept is designed to include geographic limitations for each phase of the campaign. Our pilot project in Alaska will begin in Airport Heights. A small pilot project is important for the success of the campaign in Alaska and will determine any repetition of the campaign in other areas.

Does this campaign apply to Homeowners Associations?
The program is meant to benefit individual homeowners.

Can I participate if I live in a condo or duplex?
If you own your residence, including rights to the roof, this may be a possibility. Please check ownership and construction permissions.

Contractor Questions

Can more than one installer participate?
Yes, especially in instances where there is overwhelming demand for installations.

What if someone wants to purchase their panels through Solarize but wants to select their own installer?
The goal of the Solarize program is to help both residents and installers by negotiating that relationship. Costs are driven down for consumers, and selected contractors get a guarantee of business. Buying panels and choosing a different installer would only be possible if the installer(s) selected through the Solarize program present that as an option.

More Questions and Concerns
It is up to the respondents to determine what sort of ongoing customer support they will provide as part of their bid. This will be taken into account when scoring applications.
One should be required and required to be submitted by respondents.
This is not a requirement but rather a component of each respondent’s bid that will be taken into account when scoring applications.
The Solarize Anchorage campaign presents installers with the opportunity to secure multiple residential installations by individuals who have expressed an interest in solar. We will monitor how this affects customer acquisition costs and look to improve efficiencies wherever possible in future Solarize Anchorage phases.
This is the first solarize campaign that has been conducted in Anchorage. Residents have partnered with local environmental advocacy groups and university researchers as well as experienced individuals from the National Renewable Energy Lab to provide necessary guidance and technical expertise. The established best practices from solarize campaigns in other states have been integrated into this process. We will monitor successes and room for improvement during this process and make improvements wherever possible in future Solarize Anchorage phases.
The RFP acknowledges on page 4 that “Much of the community is located alongside north-south oriented streets, and thus has rooflines that are oriented east-west. This could prove challenging for rooftop solar PV installations and will need to be accommodated by installers.”
We are aware of the requirements for commercial construction in Anchorage. If contractors do not wish to offer commercial PV as part of the solarize effort they can state that in their proposal.
No mention or scope or scale is included in the RFP but that needs to be understood by respondents.
The project timeline is posted on page 3 of the RFP.
We acknowledge that every home is different with different levels of solar readiness. It will be the installers responsibility to communicate these additional costs to the homeowner during the site assessment process.
Page 4 of the RFP states:
Proposing firms must be licensed, bonded and insured.
Proposing firms must maintain workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance as required under Alaska state law.
Be compliant with all applicable OSHA requirements.
The proposer shall have a contractor’s license and ideally be NABCEP certified. Electrical work shall be performed under the supervision of a licensed electrical administrator as required by state and local codes.
See the timeline on page 3 of the RFP. Currently there are two community workshops scheduled and it is estimated that these will be approximately two hours each.
We shouldn’t be expecting lower pricing than other areas in Anchorage. Only lower pricing than what individual airport heights residents would be able to obtain if they installed solar individually. We’re not trying to compare Solar in Airport Heights to solar elsewhere.
This is one method that has worked well in past solarize projects. Proposals will be judged on how they can best offer low prices and quality workmanship to project participants.
This is not a requirement but bid submissions that offer to assist customers with IRS Form 5965 and other related tax forms will be scored favorably.
Bid submissions should details their expected billing cycle as part of the solarize process.
We do not aim to prevent Airport Heights residents from choosing other installers. This is just an opt-in, opt-out situation.

Will your neighborhood be next?

Contact kristen@akcenter.org and our team will help you design a campaign plan and start organizing your neighbors.