Knowledge brings your renewable energy project to life
Resiliency and planning are essential for timely construction and energization of renewable energy projects.
By Maria DlagnekovaIt is no secret that supply chain issues are afflicting the renewable energy industry in North America. Leaders in our space must recognize that seeing a renewable project through requires a combination of time, money, and resources. Each project depends on the knowledge of an army of experts—yet with the supply chain challenges we face today, those experts can’t always progress at their desired pace.
Renewable Energy Project Checklist
Looking to bring your next energy project to completion? Whether you intend to develop a power plant or an energy storage facility, the process is complex and requires a lengthy checklist that includes:
- Defining the project
What is your end goal? Determine whether your project will be wind, solar, biomass, biogas, hydro, or geothermal or if it requires infrastructure improvement. If your project is to be interconnected to the electrical grid where a storage facility is required, you will need to consider a budget for hydrogen fuel, battery storage or other stable power supply or electric vehicle charging service.
- Choose the location
Choosing a reliable, minimally disruptive location is key, so aim to go deep here. Selecting the right project site is a factor for your CAPEX and OPEX as you forecasted. Make sure to consider the impact to the region and the community of your decision as well.
- Justify the impact
Evaluate the environmental, social, and economic impact of your project—from the potential to degrade the surrounding land, to the jobs your project may bring. Socially speaking, note that most renewable energy projects are in rural areas, and that those living near the site deserve a voice in how you proceed and how they can benefit from new developments.
- Strive for a good engineering design
A robust design is unlikely to fail even when it is used in severe conditions. Completing the engineering design is an important step, but you still need to get that design approved. Connect with the transmission or distribution provider early to ensure timely approval. It is critical to be familiar with NERC, FERC, and ISO regulations for the specific location. Perform comprehensive power system studies and provide the best solution at the point of interconnection (POI) or at the point of common couple (PCC).
Selecting the right wire and cable is not to be forgotten. It is important to understand the required specifications or local requirements when selecting your cables.
- Source reliable equipment and materials
Choosing the proper equipment, materials, including wire and cable, are essential factors for a successful energy project. Reliable means instruments, and kits with a low failure rate help keep costs low and projects on-schedule, so be sure you are working with the right wires and cables from the very beginning.
- Logistics management
Given the global supply chain issues, keeping track of equipment and materials needs to be given a high priority in the management of the project. Any changes in delivery will impact the installation and energization of the project.
- Ensure proper installation
Seamless, error-free installation will guarantee safety both in the field and in the surrounding area. Make sure all technicians are licensed and certified to perform the work they are doing, checking, and double-checking that they’ve installed all components thoroughly. Suppliers should provide a comprehensive material handling and installation guide for all materials they have supplied.
- Accurate field acceptance tests
It is important to conduct the correct field acceptance tests, as recommended by the applicable standards, such as IEEE and ANSI.
- Get energized
After completing the above steps, all that’s left is energization. Finally, you can complete your project—bringing renewable energy directly to the end user and the revenue it was developed for.
By thoroughly managing your project from concept to energization, and accounting for the nuances that will come into play, you are mitigating your risk. Partnering with suppliers and contractors that have a proven track record will guarantee successful and on-time energization.