Rules

Understand the legal rules governing the competition.

NYSERDA Program Opportunity Notice (PON) 4743

Up to $30 million

NYSERDA reserves the right to extend and/or add funding to the Solicitation should other program funding sources become available.

Phase One Registration Deadline: July 22, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Phase One Proposals Due: August 24, 2021 by 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time*

Phase Two Proposal Due Date will be announced no later than January 31, 2022.

Program Summary: The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) seeks Proposals for the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge as part of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes, which are designed to advance clean, electrified transportation in disadvantaged communities in New York State. The prizes will fund projects that will help overcome persistent transportation challenges in low-income communities and remove barriers to widespread electric vehicle use.

The Clean Neighborhoods Challenge aims to reduce local air pollution in disadvantaged communities through the introduction or expansion of electric and active transportation modes, which could be paired with activities that enable a reduction in polluting vehicle traffic. The most successful solutions will take an integrated approach that enables immediate and long-term air pollution reductions, demonstrates clear potential for replication and scale, and improves quality of life in the neighborhood.

Proposal Phase Total Funding Available Anticipated Number of Awards
Phase One: Planning Grants Up to $500,000 Up to five (5) at $100,000 each
Phase Two: Grand Prizes
(Note: this Phase is only open to
Phase One Awardees
Up to $30 million Up to three (3) at $10 million each

All, some, or none, of the available funds may be Awarded. NYSERDA reserves the right to add or reduce time and/or funding to Awarded contracts. Note: Only projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission are eligible to receive the funding currently available through this PON (4743). These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.

Subject to the availability of funds, up to one project located within a community (or communities) served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) may be selected for an additional Phase One award through this PON (4743). Up to one additional project located within a community (or communities) served by LIPA may be selected for a Phase Two award out of the Phase One awardees from all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program (PON 4743, PON 4744, PON 4745).

Projects located in other electric utility service territories are eligible to participate in the submission and evaluation process, and must identify a separate funding for grant awards. Up to one additional Phase One project may be selected from the other electric utility service territories to be provided with access to expert consultants and other support services to prepare a Phase Two proposal. This additional project is not eligible to receive the planning grant, grand prize, nor funding for community partners from NYSERDA.

Proposal Submission: Proposers may apply on the New York Clean Transportation Prizes online portal on this website. Proposers should follow the application instructions on the online portal. If you have factual questions concerning the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge, please email NYSERDA.

No communication intended to influence this procurement is permitted except by contacting NYSERDA. Contacting anyone (either directly by the Proposer or indirectly through a lobbyist or other person acting on the Proposer’s behalf) in an attempt to influence the procurement: (1) may result in a Proposer being deemed a non-responsible offerer, and (2) may result in the Proposer not being Awarded a contract.

*All Proposals must be received by 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Late, faxed, or emailed Proposals will not be accepted. Incomplete Proposals may be subject to disqualification. It is the Proposer’s responsibility to ensure that all sections have been answered in the online Proposal. Please note: for online submission, there are required questions that you will have to answer in addition to uploading attachments and you should allot at least 60 minutes for data entry when using the website. Please take as much time as is necessary to formulate your responses to each question by carefully reading the requirements as soon as possible. The online Proposal system closes promptly at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, files in process or attempted edits or submission after 3 p.m. Eastern Time on the date above, will not be accepted. NYSERDA will also accept Proposals by mail or hand-delivery if online submission is not possible. If changes are made to this solicitation, notification will be posted on the “Current Opportunities” section of NYSERDA’s website (and here on the competition website).

I. Introduction

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is a public benefit corporation established pursuant to Title 9 of Article 8 of the Public Authorities Law of the State of New York (State). NYSERDA's principal mission is to develop innovative solutions to some of the State's most difficult energy and environmental problems. In July 2020, the New York State Public Service Commission’s (PSC) Order Establishing Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Make Ready Program and Other Programs (Case 18-E-0138, “EV Make Ready Order”) directed NYSERDA to establish three prize competitions to fund projects that will help overcome persistent transportation challenges in low-income communities and remove barriers to widespread electric vehicle use. The goal is to advance clean, electrified transportation options in disadvantaged communities in New York State, including, but not limited to, electric trucks and buses, electric cars, electric micromobility, and other mobility services. The competitions are intended to provide teams of global experts with the opportunity to directly engage communities and local groups to improve transportation options, reduce emissions, and develop solutions that can be scaled and replicated in New York State and beyond.

Summary of New York Clean Transportation Prizes design

All three prizes will be implemented in two phases to provide potential Proposers with the time and

resources necessary to develop the best approaches to meet the objectives of each prize competition.

Phase One: The purpose of Phase One is to invite a wide range of Proposers to register and submit a detailed Proposal for each relevant prize. Since these three prize competitions will launch simultaneously, Proposers will have the opportunity to propose to more than one competition, and those Proposers may be asked to indicate how any efficiencies can be gained if they are awarded more than one grand prize Award to implement their proposed solution(s). The outcome of Phase One is to produce a cohort of planning grant Awardees, who will receive planning grants and other support in order to participate in Phase Two and prepare their final Proposals for grand prize consideration. See the Timeline.

Phase Two: Planning grant Awardees selected in Phase One will undergo a rigorous period of planning support in order to refine and strengthen their Proposals and conduct additional engagement for Phase Two. Based on feedback provided from the Phase One assessments, planning grant Awardees will understand gaps in their Proposals. NYSERDA will provide access to experts to help them refine their Proposals over a protracted period of the Phase Two timeline. Based on the revised Proposals, the scoring committee will assess and make recommendations to determine the grand prize Awardees for each prize competition. See the Timeline.

II. Program Requirements

A. Solution Eligibility

At a minimum, all proposals should:

  1. Reduce emissions from transportation sources in and around one or more disadvantaged communities.
  2. Expand access to electric and active transportation options for community residents.
  3. Take an integrated approach so as to establish the broader conditions for continued emissions reductions.
  4. Improve the quality of life for residents of the community or communities in which it proposes to operate, and make the chosen community or communities more attractive for further investment both as relates to active and electric transportation and otherwise.
  5. Demonstrate a clear potential to be repeated in other communities and have the potential to scale in chosen or additional communities.

Proposals are encouraged to encompass a wide range of activities that are necessary to advance transportation electrification in a community. The proposal may choose to achieve the above goals by harnessing local planning capacity and ability to change local rules, regulations, and rights-of-way usage, and infrastructure supportive of electric transportation options to encourage or require more future transportation electrification. Proposals may also encompass solutions that advance active transportation options alongside electric options.

Proposals may NOT include any of the following elements:

  • A sole focus on vehicle or fleet replacement
  • A sole focus on active transportation without support of electric transportation solutions
  • Projects that do not ensure long-term reductions in GHG emissions and air pollution
  • Projects that would not have a demonstrable impact on quality of life of community residents
  • The purchase of energy, development of power generation, or renewable energy credits (RECs)
  • Activities that do not promote reductions in transportation-related emissions or related improvements to transportation infrastructure
  • Activities that promote community development, other than through electric and active transportation solutions and related improvements to transportation infrastructure
  • Activities that promote environmental goals other than electric and active transportation, such as brownfield remediation
  • Projects that have significant technology risk

B. Proposer Eligibility

Each Proposal to the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge must be led by a Principal Organization, which is an entity responsible for entering into an agreement with NYSERDA for the purposes of receiving a planning grant or grand prize Award. Any non-profit, business or company, or other type of incorporated entity that is in good standing in the relevant jurisdiction(s) where they are incorporated and maintained may apply as a Principal Organization or be a member on a proposing team, with the exceptions provided below.

The following entities are not eligible to apply as the Principal Organization, but may be part of a proposing team:

  • Individuals.
  • Government agencies, including United Nations agencies, inter-governmental bodies, and regional cooperation agencies. Please note: Indian Nations are eligible to apply as a Principal Organization and serve as part of a proposing team.
  • Departments, authorities, or other entities that are part of local, state, or federal government.
  • Universities and colleges.

The following entities are not eligible to be a Principal Organization nor members of any proposing team:

  • Registered lobbying organizations whose primary business is lobbying.
  • Utilities and associated enterprises, within their respective service territories.

Phase One Proposals are open to any Principal Organization that meets the above requirements. Phase Two Proposals may only be submitted by Phase One Awardees.

Financial and Organizational Capacity – All applicants must demonstrate their financial and organizational capacity to carry out the proposed project and to appropriately manage any Award, should they be designated as an Awardee.

C. Proposal Submission Limit

An organization can submit only one Phase One Proposal for the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge as the Principal Organization. An organization can also serve as a partner on a team for multiple Proposals provided that each Proposal proposes a separate, distinct solution.

Regional or location-specific branches of larger organizations can each register and submit separately as the Principal Organization on one Proposal as long as the proposed solutions are different and separate. While a single organization can serve as a Principal Organization on one Proposal, as well as participate as part of a team on multiple Proposals, there should be no overlap in the individuals from that organization on those separate Proposals. The intent of the policy is to ensure that any team member is concentrating their best effort into a single Proposal. Overlapping membership of advisory boards is permitted.

D. Geographic Eligibility

All Proposals must reduce transportation-related air pollution and improve quality of life for at least one disadvantaged community per the interim definition below:

Disadvantaged Communities include either:

1. Communities that meet both of the following criteria:

  • Census block groups that are in the top quartile of HUD census tracks meeting the annual income threshold of 50% Area Median Income (see below*), and
  • Location identified as a Potential Environmental Justice Areas, as defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or

2. Communities located within New York State Opportunity Zones.

*HUD 50% Threshold: Top quartile of census block groups in New York, ranked by the percentage of LMI Households in each census block. LMI Households are defined as households with annual incomes at or below 50% of the AMI of the County or Metro area where the Census Block Group resides.

NYSERDA has provided an interactive map that identifies areas throughout the State that meet the interim criteria specified above.

E. Exceptions to Terms and Conditions

In order to ensure NYSERDA is timely with the procurement and contracting of Phase One Awards under this PON 4743, NYSERDA will not allow any exceptions to NYSERDA’s standard terms and conditions in the Sample Agreement (Attachment C). All proposers should review these standard terms and conditions in the Sample Agreement in detail before deciding to move forward with a proposal to ensure they do not have any exceptions with them. NYSERDA will terminate contract negotiations with any proposers selected for funding that attempt to retroactively negotiate the terms and conditions during the contracting process.

III. Proposal Requirements

The Proposer’s goal should be to concisely present the information needed to fully address the evaluation criteria (see Section IV). Proposals may not exceed the word limits specific in the Proposal form, and any Proposals that are incomplete or fail to meet eligibility requirements may be rejected as non-responsive. If you believe proprietary information must be submitted to provide an adequate Proposal, you must comply with Section V instructions for submitting proprietary information.

Proposals must be in English and meet the Proposal requirements stipulated on the challenge website. Proposers are required to register in advance of any deadlines for the submission of a Proposal and comply with all other deadlines posted on the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge website. Proposals may not contain obscene, provocative, defamatory, or otherwise objectionable or inappropriate content.

In compliance with §139-j and §139-k of the State Finance Law (see Section V, General Conditions, below for additional information), Proposers will be required to answer questions during Proposal submission, which will include making required certification under the State Finance Law and to disclose any Prior Findings of Non-Responsibility.

A. Phase One Proposal Format

Participant must register for the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge through the website by the deadline listed above. The registrant will receive an email to confirm registration and complete the registration process. Participants are also required to accept the Terms & Conditions of the competition, before getting access to the online Proposal.

The Proposal must be submitted via the online platform and follow the format put forth on the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge website. The Proposal form contains the following sections:

  1. Quick Pitch: This is your opportunity to make a strong first impression. Offer a brief and compelling overview of your solution. Avoid using jargon, abbreviations, or language that a layperson may not understand.
  2. Video Presentation: Submit a video that captures your solution and why it should be funded. This is an opportunity to showcase your passion and pitch your story to a broad audience. Share your vision with reviewers in a way that is different from the written proposal format. This DOES NOT need to be a professionally produced video.
  3. Your Team: Now that you’ve introduced your solution, focus on the structure, capacity, and leadership of your team. Successful execution is of paramount importance to the success of this prize – so having and a strong team is critical.  
  4. The Problem: Here is your opportunity to explain the problem(s) you intend to solve and to demonstrate your nuanced understanding of the disadvantaged communities you aim to serve.
  5. Your Solution: Here’s your opportunity to more fully explain how you intend to solve the problem(s) you have outlined above. It is important to convey both that you have a sound strategy and also that you have a sound approach to execution.
  6. Projected Impact: Demonstrate how your solution will better meet the transportation needs of disadvantaged communities, improve health, and increase the quality of life and opportunity for community residents and others.
  7. Community Engagement: Illustrate detailed plans as to how you will collaborate with the communities in which you will deploy your solution.  
  8. Scalability & Replicability: Clearly describe the potential and plans to scale, expand, repeat, and/or replicate your solution.  
  9. Project Plan & Budget: Illustrate your plan and the resources required to successfully implement your solution. Please be as informative as possible, clearly portraying important activities the funds will be used for and when.
  10. Administrative Information: This section is required for due diligence purposes.  
  11. Additional Information: NYSERDA will execute contractual agreements which will outline the terms of any award provided to any Principal Organization through the Clean Neighborhoods Challenge and will also monitor the implementation of the awarded project. Please review all Rules, Terms & Conditions, and the Sample Agreement for more details.

B. Phase Two Proposal (by invitation only)

Up to five (5) Proposers to Phase One will be selected as Phase One Awardees and eligible to propose to Phase Two. Each Phase One Awardee will be required to enter into an agreement (see Attachment C) with NYSERDA to receive a planning grant of $100,000 to strengthen, revise, and resubmit their Proposals. Phase One Awardees will also be provided with up to $50,000 of in-kind support from experts and up to $50,000 in funding for their community partners to support their active participation in the final proposal development. Based on feedback provided from the Phase One assessments and insights gained throughout the Phase Two process, Phase One Awardees will understand gaps in their proposed solutions, will make improvements to their proposed solutions, and submit Phase Two Proposals. The scoring committee will assess and make recommendations to determine the grand prize Awardees for each prize competition. See Timeline.

Of these Phase One Awardees, up to three (3) will receive an Award of $10 million each if selected as grand prize Awardees during the Phase Two proposal and evaluation process.

Note: Only projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission are eligible to receive the funding currently available through this PON (4743). These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.

Subject to the availability of funds, up to one project located within a community (or communities) served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) may be selected for an additional Phase One award through this PON (4743). Up to one additional project located within a community (or communities) served by LIPA may be selected for a Phase Two award out of the Phase One awardees from all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program (PON 4743, PON 4744, PON 4745).

Projects located in other electric utility service territories are eligible to participate in the submission and evaluation process, and must identify a separate funding for grant awards. Up to one additional Phase One project may be selected from the other electric utility service territories to be provided with access to expert consultants and other support services to prepare a Phase Two proposal. This additional project is not eligible to receive the planning grant, grand prize, nor funding for community partners from NYSERDA.

Use of Funds – Funds from Phase Two Awards must be used for the solution described in the proposal and go toward achieving transportation-related outcomes. The solution must be implemented over a period of up to three years. Proposers may include overhead costs that are necessary to implement the proposed project.

Annual Metrics Reports –The grand prize Awardees will be required to enter into an agreement with NYSERDA and to submit to NYSERDA's Project Manager on an annual basis, a prepared analysis and summary of metrics addressing the anticipated energy, environmental and economic benefits that are realized by the project. All estimates shall reference credible sources and estimating procedures, and all assumptions shall be documented. Reporting shall commence the first calendar year after the contract is executed. Reports shall be submitted by January 31st for the previous calendar years’ activities (i.e. reporting period). NYSERDA may decline to contract with Awardees that are delinquent with respect to metrics reporting for any previous or active NYSERDA agreement.

Measurement & Verification – Awarded solutions will have access to a third-party contractor to verify any claims of performance measurement and, in some cases, collect additional data, during implementation. Phase Two Awardees will be required to submit a Measurement & Verification Plan.

IV. Proposal Evaluation

Upon submission of a Proposal, the Proposal will be subjected to an administrative review to ensure compliance with proposer eligibility requirements. Eligible Proposals will advance to a Scoring Committee review. Each of the eligible Proposals will be assessed by Scoring Committee members, who will be assigned to score these Proposals after considering any potential conflicts of interest. Scoring Committee members will have the opportunity to review and discuss their assigned Proposals with all Scoring Committee members assigned to the same Proposals. Once this review has occurred, Scoring Committee members will finalize their scores.

Proposals that meet solicitation requirements will be reviewed by a Scoring Committee consisting of independent evaluators with relevant subject matter expertise using the Evaluation Criteria below. The Scoring Committee will base their scores on the Scoring Rubric in Attachment B.

  • Impactful: Is there vision, a wide range of activities, and scale of opportunity to provide needed clean transportation options to disadvantaged communities, reduce carbon emissions, and achieve change? How transformative is the solution for the impacted disadvantaged communities, both in the short and long term?
  • Community-Aligned: To what degree has the community been engaged in the proposal development process? How durable are the existing partnerships and plans for successfully implementing ongoing, long-term community engagement that is aligned with, responsive to, and informed by proven community needs?
  • Feasible: Is there a sound approach, thorough plan, sufficient resources, community buy-in, and necessary approvals (or plans for approval) to execute their solution? Is there a credible team with the experience, capacity, and existing (or planned) relationships needed to mitigate risk and succeed where other solutions have not?
  • Repeatable: Is there a vision and roadmap to scale and/or replicate the solution to reduce emissions and benefit more disadvantaged communities in the long term? Is the team positioned to adapt, disseminate results, and build a transferrable model that will meet changing community needs and derive value for future implementation?

NYSERDA reserves the right to accept or reject Proposals based on the following Program Policy Factors:

  • The degree to which there is diversity of solution set (technologies, approaches, methods)
  • The degree to which there is diversity of geographic location
  • The degree to which the proposed project directly addresses the goals of the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program

After Scoring Committee review, a rank order of the Proposals will be populated. Once a rank order of Proposals has been populated from the Scoring Committee review, up to five (5) Proposers will be selected as Phase One Awardees. Phase One Awardees will be eligible to submit Phase Two Proposals. Of these Phase Two Proposals, up to three (3) will receive an Award of $10 million each. Proposals will be evaluated based on the Evaluation Criteria and Program Policy Factors may be applied. NYSERDA may also recommend a modification to an Award. During each round of assessment, Proposers may be required to submit additional information, if necessary.

Note: Only projects located within communities served by electric utilities regulated by the New York State Public Service Commission are eligible to receive the funding currently available through this PON (4743). These utilities are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric, Con Edison, National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.

Subject to the availability of funds, up to one project located within a community (or communities) served by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) may be selected for an additional Phase One award through this PON (4743). Up to one additional project located within a community (or communities) served by LIPA may be selected for a Phase Two award out of the Phase One awardees from all three challenges in the New York Clean Transportation Prizes program (PON 4743, PON 4744, PON 4745).

Projects located in other electric utility service territories are eligible to participate in the submission and evaluation process, and must identify a separate funding for grant awards. Up to one additional Phase One project may be selected from the other electric utility service territories to be provided with access to expert consultants and other support services to prepare a Phase Two proposal. This additional project is not eligible to receive the planning grant, grand prize, nor funding for community partners from NYSERDA.

V. General Conditions

Proprietary Information - Careful consideration should be given before confidential information is submitted to NYSERDA as part of your Proposal. Review should include whether it is critical for evaluating a Proposal, and whether general, non-confidential information, may be adequate for review purposes. The NYS Freedom of Information Law, Public Officers law, Article 6, provides for public access to information NYSERDA possesses. Public Officers Law, Section 87(2)(d) provides for exceptions to disclosure for records or portions thereof that "are trade secrets or are submitted to an agency by a commercial enterprise or derived from information obtained from a commercial enterprise and which if disclosed would cause substantial injury to the competitive position of the subject enterprise." Information submitted to NYSERDA that the Proposer wishes to have treated as proprietary, and confidential trade secret information, should be identified and labeled "Confidential" or "Proprietary" in each answer to the Proposal question at the time of disclosure. This information should include a written request to except it from disclosure, including a written statement of the reasons why the information should be excepted. See Public Officers Law, Section 89(5) and the procedures set forth in 21 NYCRR Part 501 https://www.nyserda.ny.gov/About/-/media/Files/About/Contact/NYSERDA-Regulations.ashx. However, NYSERDA cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any information submitted.

Treatment and Use of Intellectual Property. Each Proposal should reflect the anticipated ownership, use, and licensing of any intellectual property. Proposers represent and warrant that the Proposal is an original work created solely by the Proposer, that the Proposer owns all intellectual property in and to the Proposal, and that no other party has any right, title, claim or interest in the Proposal, except as expressly identified by the Proposer in writing in the Proposal.

Omnibus Procurement Act of 1992 - It is the policy of New York State to maximize opportunities for the participation of New York State business enterprises, including minority- and women-owned business enterprises, as bidders, subcontractors, and suppliers on its procurement Agreements.

Information on the availability of New York subcontractors and suppliers is available from:

Empire State Development

Division for Small Business

625 Broadway

Albany, NY 12207

A directory of certified minority- and women-owned business enterprises is available from:

Empire State Development

Minority and Women's Business Development Division

625 Broadway

Albany, NY 12207

State Finance Law sections 139-j and 139-k - NYSERDA is required to comply with State Finance Law sections 139-j and 139-k. These provisions contain procurement lobbying requirements which can be found at https://online.ogs.ny.gov/legal/lobbyinglawfaq/default.aspx. Proposers are required to answer questions during Proposal submission, which will include making required certification under the State Finance Law and to disclose any Prior Findings of Non-Responsibility (this includes a disclosure statement regarding whether the Proposer has been found non-responsible under section 139-j of the State Finance Law within the previous four years).

Tax Law Section 5-a - NYSERDA is required to comply with the provisions of Tax Law Section 5-a, which requires a prospective contractor, prior to entering an agreement with NYSERDA having a value in excess of $100,000, to certify to the Department of Taxation and Finance (the "Department") whether the contractor, its affiliates, its subcontractors and the affiliates of its subcontractors have registered with the Department to collect New York State and local sales and compensating use taxes. The Department has created a form to allow a prospective contractor to readily make such certification. See, ST-220-TD (available at http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/st/st220td_fill_in.pdf). Prior to contracting with NYSERDA, the prospective contractor must also certify to NYSERDA whether it has filed such certification with the Department.

The Department has created a second form that must be completed by a prospective contractor prior to contracting and filed with NYSERDA. See, ST-220-CA (available at http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/current_forms/st/st220ca_fill_in.pdf). The Department has developed guidance for contractors which is available at http://www.tax.ny.gov/pdf/publications/sales/pub223.pdf.

Contract Award - NYSERDA anticipates making multiple Awards under this solicitation. NYSERDA anticipates a grand prize implementation contract duration of up to three years, unless NYSERDA management determines a different structure is more efficient based upon Proposals received. A contract may be Awarded based on initial applications without discussion, or following limited discussion or negotiations pertaining to the Statement of Work. Each Proposal should be submitted using the most favorable cost and technical terms. NYSERDA may request additional data or material to support applications. NYSERDA will use the Sample Agreement (see Attachment C) to contract successful Phase One Proposals. NYSERDA may at its discretion elect to extend and/or add funds to any project funded through this solicitation. NYSERDA expects to notify Proposers in approximately five (5) months from the Phase One Proposal due date whether your Proposal has been selected to receive a Phase One Award (see Timeline). NYSERDA may decline to contract with Awardees that are delinquent with respect to any obligation under any previous or active NYSERDA agreement.

Accessibility Requirements - NYSERDA requires contractors producing content intended to be posted to the Web to adhere to New York State’s Accessibility Policy. This includes, but is not limited to, deliverables such as: documents (PDF, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, etc.), audio (.mp3, .wav, etc.), video (.mp4, .mpg, .avi, etc.), graphics (.jpg, .png, etc.), web pages (.html, .aspx, etc.), and other multimedia and streaming media content. For more information, see NYSERDA's Accessibility Requirements. Please see Proposal for additional information.

Limitation - This solicitation does not commit NYSERDA to Award a contract, pay any costs incurred in preparing a Proposal, or to procure or contract for services or supplies. NYSERDA reserves the right to accept or reject any or all Proposals received, to negotiate with all qualified sources, or to cancel in part or in its entirety the solicitation when it is in NYSERDA's best interest. NYSERDA reserves the right to reject Proposals based on the nature and number of any exceptions taken to the standard terms and conditions of the Sample Agreement. NYSERDA reserves the right to disqualify Proposers based upon the results of a background check into publicly available information or the presence of a material possibility of any reputational or legal risk in making of the Award.

Disclosure Requirement - The Proposer shall disclose any indictment for any alleged felony, or any conviction for a felony within the past five years, under the laws of the United States or any state or territory of the United States and shall describe circumstances for each. When a Proposer is an association, partnership, corporation, or other organization, this disclosure requirement includes the organization and its officers, partners, and directors or members of any similarly governing body. If an indictment or conviction should come to the attention of NYSERDA after the Award of a contract, NYSERDA may exercise its stop-work right pending further investigation or terminate the agreement; the contractor may be subject to penalties for violation of any law which may apply in the particular circumstances. Proposers must also disclose if they have ever been debarred or suspended by any agency of the U.S. Government or the New York State Department of Labor.

Vendor Assurance of No Conflict of Interest or Detrimental Effect - The Proposer shall disclose any existing or contemplated relationship with any other person or entity, including any known relationships with any member, shareholders of 5% or more, parent, subsidiary, or affiliated firm, which would constitute an actual or potential conflict of interest or appearance of impropriety, relating to other clients/customers of the Proposer or former officers and employees of NYSERDA, in connection with Proposer’s rendering services as proposed. If a conflict does or might exist, please describe how your company would eliminate or prevent it. Indicate what procedures will be followed to detect, notify NYSERDA of, and resolve any such conflicts.

The Proposer must disclose whether it, or any of its members, or, to the best of its knowledge, shareholders of 5% or more, parents, affiliates, or subsidiaries, have been the subject of any investigation or disciplinary action by the New York State Commission on Public Integrity or its predecessor State entities (collectively, “Commission”), and if so, a brief description must be included indicating how any matter before the Commission was resolved or whether it remains unresolved.

Public Officers Law – For any resulting Awards, the Contractor and its subcontractors shall not engage any person who is, or has been at any time, in the employ of the State to perform services in violation of the provisions of the New York Public Officers Law, other laws applicable to the service of State employees, and the rules, regulations, opinions, guidelines or policies promulgated or issued by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, or its predecessors (collectively, the “Ethics Requirements”). Proposers are reminded of the following Public Officers Law provision: contractors, consultants, vendors, and subcontractors may hire former NYSERDA employees. However, as a general rule and in accordance with New York Public Officers Law, former employees of NYSERDA may neither appear nor practice before NYSERDA, nor receive compensation for services rendered on a matter before NYSERDA, for a period of two years following their separation from NYSERDA service. In addition, former NYSERDA employees are subject to a “lifetime bar” from appearing before any state agency or authority or receiving compensation for services regarding any transaction in which they personally participated, or which was under their active consideration during their tenure with NYSERDA.

Any Awardee will be required to certify that all of its employees, as well as employees of any subcontractor, whose subcontract is valued at $100,000 or more who are former employees of the State and who are assigned to perform services under the resulting contract, shall be assigned in accordance with all Ethics Requirements. During the term of any agreement, no person who is employed by the contractor or its subcontractors and who is disqualified from providing services under the contract pursuant to any Ethics Requirements may share in any net revenues of the contractor or its subcontractors derived from the contract. NYSERDA may request that contractors provide it with whatever information the State deems appropriate about each such person’s engagement, work cooperatively with the State to solicit advice from the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, and, if deemed appropriate by the State, instruct any such person to seek the opinion of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics. NYSERDA shall have the right to withdraw or withhold approval of any subcontractor if utilizing such subcontractor for any work performed would be in conflict with any of the Ethics Requirements. NYSERDA shall have the right to terminate any contract at any time if any work performed is in conflict with any of the Ethics Requirements.

Due Diligence – NYSERDA, at its discretion, may conduct broad due diligence to validate any or all elements of an application and to assess applicants’ prospects of success, including gathering information to assess a Proposal relative to any of the topics listed in evaluation criteria, whether or not such topic is explicitly addressed in a Proposal. NYSERDA may conduct due diligence on some or all Proposals based on NYSERDA’s current guidelines at the time of a review. NYSERDA staff may follow up with Proposers to request additional information or clarification regarding applicant’s Proposal, including questions regarding applicant’s business prospects and resources, whether or not those questions are specifically related to the elements of the Proposal. Additionally, customized due diligence may be conducted by internal or external staff or contractors based on questions on any Proposal raised by NYSERDA staff and/or the Scoring Committee. Due diligence may include (but is not limited to): interviews of independent references and background checks of team members; assessment of prior business experience of any team member associated with a Proposal; research on intellectual property claims; customer and partner reference checks; market research on the applicants’ target market and any other related or possibly competitive technology or market area; research to validate any assumptions on current or future revenues, costs, capital needs, and financing prospects for Proposers’ business, including similar (or unrelated) technologies, processes, or competitive solutions; or any other research that could reasonably inform the evaluation of a Proposal, or the prospects for commercial success of the Proposers’ business (whether directly related to, or unrelated to the specific elements in a Proposal). Due diligence may include discussions with Proposers’ former and current business partners, employees, investors, customers, and competitors. Due diligence may be conducted by NYSERDA personnel or contractors including members of the scoring committee, before, during, or after a scoring process, and prior to finalization of a contract Award, any information gleaned in diligence may be used to score or re-score a Proposal.

VI. Attachments

  1. Phase One Proposal Form
  2. Phase One Scoring Rubric
  3. Sample Agreement including Exhibit A - Statement of Work for Phase One Planning Grant Awards