Gehrlicher nabs US gov't contract

Germany’s Gehrlicher Solar has won a five-year “schedule contract” with the US government’s General Services Administration (GSA), potentially opening up a torrent of new orders as US federal agencies are forced to green themselves up in the years ahead.

The Washington DC-based GSA is an independent agency within the US government which procures supplies for various federal offices, and manages buildings and office space owned by the government.

The GSA contract means that federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, will be able to avail themselves of Gehrlicher’s solar EPC services via a schedule of pre-negotiated rates, terms and conditions – a tremendous advantage for Gehrlicher in pinning down government work.

The contract means that government buyers can “confidently expedite the purchasing process without a bidding process”, including buying PV systems via an online portal at a pre-negotiated price,Gehrlicher explains.

The schedule contract is valid through May 2018, and allows for the possibility of up to three five-year extensions – meaning it could run through 2033.

Munich-based Gehrlicher, among the world’s leading solar EPC players, launched a US subsidiary just two years ago, with offices in Tempe, Arizona, and Boston, Massachusetts. It also recently opened an office in Mexico City.

With many European PV markets in stagnation or decline, the US has rapidly become an important pillar of Gehrlicher’s business. Stefan Parhofer, who spent the past two years as chief executive of Gehrlicher’s US subsidiary, was recently appointed to the company’s board of directors as chief strategy officer.

“We are excited to bring our efficient expertise to US federal agencies via this efficient contracting mechanism and look forward to working closely with our government counterparts who are striving to reduce energy costs and meet renewable-energy mandates,” says Jenny Shinn, chief operating officer of Gehrlicher Solar America.