Request for Proposals for the Propane Distributed Generation Demonstration Program
September 16, 2008

Download RFP for the Propane Distributed Generation Demonstration Program

 General Information

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a nonprofit 501(c)(6) trade organization authorized by the Propane Education and Research Act of 1996 (PERA), Public Law 104-284. PERC was created “to enhance consumer and employee safety and training, to provide for research and development of clean and efficient propane utilization equipment, and to inform and educate the public about safety and other issues associated with the use of propane.” This Request for Proposals (RFP) is not subject to any federal or state procurement law or regulation.

A 21-member board of directors appointed by the National Propane Gas Association and the Gas Processors Association governs PERC. Members include propane retail marketers, propane producers, propane transporters, and agricultural cooperatives, as well as representatives of allied service and supply industries.


Project Overview / Objectives

PERC seeks proposals for projects that will demonstrate commercially viable propane distributed generation (DG) systems. Ideally, PERC would select five to seven projects for funding, with preference given to those projects that are highly co-funded and that have propane marketer participation. Total budget for the program is $350,000.


Distributed generation is one of the market areas with the highest potential to increase the use of propane technology. PERC has funded numerous projects related to distributed generation; they include fuel cells, microturbines, gensets, combined heat and power (CHP), and hybrid renewable systems. Distributed generation represents about 14 percent of all PERC research and development investments. This program will focus those efforts on the demonstration of distributed generation technologies using propane as the fuel source with a specific focus on technologies that are close to commercialization.


Proposals to Provide Services Sought / Scope of Work

PERC is interested in receiving proposals from contractors to do the following:

  1. Install a propane distributed generation system such as a combined heat and power, a hybrid renewable propane system, or a prime power genset in a residential or commercial application.  Systems should have a realistic potential for commercialization or have been recently commercialized. Proposals should include the following information:
    • Size.
    • Run-time.
    • Efficiency.
    • Projected fuel usage.
    • System cost.
    • On- or off-grid application.
  2. Provide a final report upon completion of demonstration project. The final report should include, but not be limited to, the following information:
    • Detailed analysis of system performance:  energy input, electrical output, electrical efficiency, power quality, thermal output, thermal efficiency, overall system efficiency, exhaust gas emissions, and fuel composition.
    • Economic analysis, including fuel costs, capital payback, and comparison to traditional systems.
    • Commercialization status and potential.
  3. Seek and obtain a target minimum of 25 percent co-funding for project. This funding can come from a number of sources. Projects with higher co-funding will be evaluated more favorably. Co-funding from government agencies will also be preferred.
  4. Engage propane marketers.

Proposals should also include the following information:

  1. Qualifications and experience of the project team.
  2. Site value (visibility, appeal, market potential, economics).
  3. Co-funding, including government agencies and companies involved.
  4. Technology level.
  5. Commercialization potential.
  6. Cost savings and benefit at site.
  7. Grid connect, grid-independent, and backup capability.
  8. Site operator interest.
  9. Local propane interest and support.


The successful contractor and team will be familiar with the LP gas industry. The contractor must demonstrate and describe its ability to anticipate, coordinate, and carry out all aspects of the project.   Eligible applicants for this solicitation are profit organizations, not-for-profit institutions and organizations, educational institutions, and individuals.


Other Requirements

Responding proposals must include the following specifications. The specifications are derived from PERC’s funding request form.

  1. Statement of the Project
    • Background information about the project.
    • Prior projects upon which the proposed project is based or which had goals and objectives similar to those of the proposed project.
    • Goals, objectives, and anticipated results of the project and planned deliverables.
    • Identification of essential personnel expected to participate in the project.
    • Status of essential personnel as employees of the applicant, consultant, or contractor.
  2. Timeline for the Project
    • Commencement date.
    • Completion date.
    • Key project stages and activities.
    • Dates upon which deliverables will be presented to Council.
    • Final report due date (due not more than 60 days from completion date).
  3. Budget and Statement of Costs
    • Specifically include direct costs, salaries, overhead and subcontractor costs, fees, and expenses.
    • Statement of how much the applicant is contributing toward the cost of the project in cash, in-kind, and services.
    • Detailed statement of other funding sources contacted or to be contacted, the expected amount of funding from each, the status of each application for funds, and any conditions placed upon the use of funds.
    • Budget to be broken down by task.
  4. Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • Examination of the values of all favorable effects (benefits) to safety, consumer awareness, or propane consumption relative to the amount of funding being requested.
    • Assessment of the cost effectiveness of the proposed work (the ratio of cost per unit of desired results).
    • Discussion of possible alternatives that could achieve similar purposes.
  5. Evaluation Statement
    • A description of roles, responsibilities, performance measures, evaluation methodologies, and data sources.


  1. PERC, in its sole discretion, also reserves the right to not award to any contract on the proposals received.
  2. PERC may request additional information from any submitter.
  3. Neither this RFP nor the submission of any proposal creates any contract or obligation on the part of PERC.
  4. Should PERC identify a proposal suitable for award, the submitter will be required to sign a written agreement for the services sought. This contract will be an indefinite quantity contract which will permit PERC to order the successful submitter’s review of as few as one program. The quantity ordered beyond the minimum set forth in any resulting contract shall be at the discretion of PERC.
  5. PERC will not accept any information in any proposal that is designated confidential or proprietary or contains confidential or proprietary information. PERC cannot and will not guarantee that should such information be submitted that it would be maintained as confidential. Should a submitter desire to submit proprietary or confidential information, the submitter should contact PERC in advance to discuss whether and how such information may be effectively submitted.

Additional Information

Proposals will be subject to an objective merit review procedure of PERC’s Research and Development Advisory Committee.

 Please send all questions regarding this request for proposals and your intentions to bid in writing by email to PERC’s director of research and development, Greg Kerr, at For copies of the following PERC documents, please visit our website at

  1. Propane Education and Research Act.
  2. Fact sheets.
  3. Press releases.
  4. Propane Vision and Technology Roadmap.

Submitting Proposals

Proposals must be contained in a single digital file and submitted in PDF or Microsoft Word format to They are due at PERC’s office no later than 5 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on December 15, 2008. A disk may also be mailed to Gregory Kerr, director of research and development, at the following address:

Propane Education & Research Council
1140 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 1075
Washington, DC 20036
202-452-8975 (phone)