As the popularity of clean energy moves to the forefront of public policy and social awareness, demand for wind and solar generation increases. In turn, renewable energy is rapidly saturating the market. The more of these renewable sources come online, the more economically competitive the output is with traditional fuels.

Since 2000, the number of renewable generation owners has skyrocketed from less than 150 to more than 4,000. This saturation not only creates significantly more competition but also increases concerns regarding grid reliability and maintenance. Both contribute to the need for more sophisticated analytics to minimize grid impact and navigate the competitive landscape.

Count of wind and solar owners by year¹

Utility-scale wind capacity has grown by an average of 15% annually since 2011 and solar capacity by an average of almost 75% annually in the same period.   So is it too late to get in the game? Or just the right time? And how do you know in advance what the market conditions will be like when planning is complete and construction begins – or, more importantly, when the renewable source comes online? 

When is the time right to jump in? How do you decide where to jump?

And how do you design success into your project from the initial planning phase?

Better analysis and a true understanding of implications is needed

Market competition continues to rise, tax support continues to decrease, and the multitude of variable complexities continue to exist.  With so much information available, it is a daunting endeavor to collect, clean, and analyze it all effectively, yet it must be done. Very sophisticated analysis is necessary in order to profitably place a project, determine its financial viability, and limit its impact on the grid’s reliability.

The in-depth research needed falls into three main categories:

  • Siting – Does the site have strong resource availability? How will the generated energy flow to demand points? How will a resource connect to these lines and with how much competition?  Can the appropriate permits and clearance be approved?
  • Financial assessment – Will this project be curtailed regularly? Can a power purchase agreement (PPA) be negotiated? After the PPA expires, can revenue recovery continue in the merchant energy market? What do these values look like in the future?  Will Renewable Portfolio Standards help?
  • Interconnection approval – What is the system impact of interconnection?

How does interconnection change the pricing spreads?

Download the full whitepaper to learn how sophisticated online tools can support renewable development projects with clean and organized investment-grade data, market-specific analytics, and unbiased fundamental forecasts to help you navigate and design success into your project today and for the future.

 

About the Enterprise Software Product Group within ABB 

We provide industry leading software and deep domain expertise to help the world’s most asset intensive industries such as energy, transportation, utilities and mining solve their biggest challenges, from plant level, to regional network scale, to global fleet-wide operations.  Our enterprise software portfolio offers an unparalleled range of solutions for asset performance management, operations and workforce management, network control and energy portfolio management to help customers reach new levels of efficiency, reliability, safety and sustainability. We are constantly researching and incorporating the latest technology innovations in areas such as mobility, analytics and cloud computing. We provide unmatched capabilities to integrate information technologies (IT) and operational technologies (OT) to provide complete solutions to our customers’ business problems.

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