Forthcoming Work Products for CCA Implementation Phase 

Executive Director RFQ template:

Forthcoming August 2017

As a strongly recommended best practice, an Executive Director with operational experience should be hired early on in the SBCP CCA implementation phase; this should not be delayed until after all consequential decisions have been taken & companies hired to run the CCA.

The forthcoming Executive Director RFQ solicits the qualities and experience necessary to ensure that SBCP’s contracting and implementation process is overseen by a senior staffer with relevant qualifications. A list of interview questions, and distribution lists from other CCA initiatives that have recently hired Executive Directors will also be provided.

 ‘Coopertition’ Analysis

Forthcoming August 2017

This forthcoming report is intended to orient SBCP elected officials, staff and the Advisory Committee to have their ‘eye on the prize’ going into the implementation phase, prior to finalizing the Request for Proposals for services and hiring key staff and contractors to launch the agency.

This is a critical moment in time, because it is actually the staff and contractors hired that will determine what the CCA can and cannot do — in other words, whether the CCA will be able to achieve its goals from a practical perspective. 

To provide high-level context for stakeholders, the analysis provides an introductory overview of SCE’s portfolio strategy and approach to energy risk management, including Distributed Energy and renewable integration, and discusses the governance and operational features that SBCP and the Regional JPA of CCAs will require. Maintaining competitive rates against Southern California Edison requires scale, access to credit, and a technically expert approach to managing energy risk and regulatory engagement. Working together on Distributed Energy — which is necessary, because SCE remains the distribution grid operator — requires the CCA to deploy capabilities that 1) actively integrate and monetize Distributed Energy in operations, and 2) monitor and predict the impact of Distributed Energy on the CCA’s wholesale portfolio and load-serving entity obligations. CCAs also possess unique competitive advantages in this regard, which are discussed as well.

These key features are required to minimize overhead, commodity and project costs, remain fiscally stable, and advance SBCP energy policy goals in perpetuity — and were originally anticipated in the advanced operational model and Regional JPA of CCAs governance model detailed in the SBCP Business Plan.

Gantt Chart & Critical Path:

Forthcoming August 2017

The SBCP Gantt Chart is a powerful project management tool detailing over 250 implementation steps to launch the SBCP CCA and Regional JPA on an expedited timeline (by Summer 2018).

Mapping out the CCA implementation process to a level of detail that identifies the dependencies between each action allows a Gantt chart to function as a ‘sliding scale’ of implementation sequencing. In a mechanical fashion, a change in the start date or duration of any single step flows through every future, related step — automatically updating and shifting the entire process and ultimate launch date of the agency. This identifies the “critical path”: the sequence of actions along which any delay directly pushes out the agency launch date.

In the planning and contracting stage, this allows each stakeholder — municipalities, committees, staff and potential contractors — to clearly see where they fit in and how they are expected to work together. In turn, this lowers barriers to entry for companies and nonprofits that provide expert services, but may not be familiar with all stages of CCA implementation. This will enhance competition under the RFP process, lowering prices bid and the overall quality of services from which to choose.

In the implementation stage, the Gantt is a powerful management tool for senior staff and key contractors to remain on-course, prioritizing the resolution of any issues that threaten to delay the critical path, or adapting as the critical path changes in response to real-world conditions.

Single RFP for All Services:

Forthcoming August 2017

As articulated in the SBCP Business Plan, all services necessary to implement and operate the agency will be contracted for under a single Request for Proposals.

A wide variety of RFP and contracting best practices have been synthesized and explained to support this final deliverable. As one 40-year public power veteran commented in endorsing SBCP, “It is refreshing to see a Plan that also details the technical scope of services to be requested, the proper RFP structure to be used, and a solicitation process designed to be expertly-informed and transparent.”

As a selection of these best practices:

  1. The draft RFP will be made available for review and comment by prospective bidders in a transparent and public process, prior to being finalized by the Advisory Committee and approved for release.
  2. The draft and final RFP will be accompanied by substantial background material, including the SBCP Gantt Chart, and widely advertised. This broadens the pool of prospective bidders, by demonstrating the structure and goals of the SBCP CCA and how all stakeholders are expected to work together to launch the agency —without requiring each contractor to expend substantial resources in researching this. Providing these materials lowers the barrier to entry for otherwise-expert companies that do not fully understand the CCA process.
  3. A full suite of energy risk management services will be requested, and specialized functions necessary to support Distributed Energy will be included across planning, program design, procurement, contract management, market operations & settlements, data and billing management, rate design and customer engagement functions. (As explained in the SBCP Business Plan “Distributed Energy” chapter and in the “Operational Model” in the appendix.)
  4. The RFP will cleanly separate the scopes of work requested as appropriate — i.e. dissimilar services will not be combined into a single scope of work, as this would artificially preclude or advantage certain companies. Additionally, by standardizing the response format and pricing for each scope of work, the CCA will be able to compare bid responses ‘apples to apples’ on a competitive basis.
    • This structure allows the selection committee to pick and choose the best contractors.
    • Teams may submit bids for one or more scope of work, and single companies may bid individual scopes of work.
    • However, the selection committee will not be bound to the teaming arrangements proposed by contractors across multiple scopes of work (teaming agreements to provide a single scope of work will not be broken apart).
  5. Scoring criteria will be made explicit, and at-risk contracting will be required for core services (and given preferential scoring for support services).
  6. The subsequent interview and contracting process will include live demonstrations for key operational systems, allow sufficient time for a credible review of respondent’s technical capabilities.
  7. The selection committee will include members of the public and power industry experts with operational experience, in addition to the SBCP Executive Director.

These and other important RFP design and contracting process best practices are detailed in the SBCP Business Plan, chapter “Contracting for Services” and appendix “Best Practices in RFP Design”.

%d bloggers like this: