Power and renewables

Making your lender more comfortable

Trends in investing in energy infrastructure

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Todd Miller

Todd Miller

Head of Section, Data & Met Mast Services

To secure a loan to build your wind or solar plant, you need to make your lender both comfortable and confident in your proposition.

To secure a loan to build your wind or solar plant, you need to make your lender both comfortable and confident in your proposition. They want to be as certain as possible that their investment will yield the expected return. The pathway to securing a loan is most often a bankable energy assessment prepared by a third-party consultant such as DNV GL. Not surprisingly, one of the most effective ways to assure your lender is to reduce uncertainty.

Many factors contribute to uncertainty in an energy assessment. However, one of the biggest contributors to resource measurement uncertainty that developers have control over is recovery rate of the sensors during the resource assessment campaign. Compared to other variables with the energy assessment that impact uncertainty, sensor recover rate is relatively easy to manage, but not often given attention until it’s too late.

Let’s consider a hypothetical resource assessment campaign. Imagine you’ve found a perfect location for your measurement device (remote sensing unit, solar monitoring station, or a meteorological tower). Your device has an optimized and redundant configuration, including the most accurate sensors on the market. After twelve full months of measurement, despite your intentional design, your recovery rate is only 50%. You’ve wasted half of your invested money and half of your invested time.

So how do you minimize your measurement uncertainty? Well, your equipment is exposed, faces the elements all day every day, and will undoubtably break at some point. When it does, you need to replace it quickly and carefully to avoid unnecessary increases in uncertainty due to changes in sensor manufacturer, model, or calibration facility. In order to upgrade effectively, you need to know the measurement device history, influences on uncertainty, trustworthy and reliable contractors, and how to coordinate cost, schedule, and access. The simple concept of taking measurements may suddenly feel like an overwhelming task, especially if you have a large portfolio of measurement devices and limited time.

Luckily, DNV GL has a team of experienced and dedicated project managers who solve these problems for both resource assessment and operating measurement campaigns on a regular basis. If you are having any issues with your measurement campaign, please reach out to DNV GL to get a quality and timely solution.  

Great, now your measurement campaign equipment is well-managed! Nothing else to worry about, right? Well, not exactly. The question now becomes: how do you know if there is a problem with your measurement devices? In our experience, measurements are often unmonitored, and when it’s time for an energy assessment, we find out too late that a sensor has failed, a datalogger was fried, or a significant weather event. The best way to avoid these surprises is to regularly quality-check the data from your measurement devices to ensure they are functioning properly. This is simple and easy, but often neglected when other development tasks become priority. Additionally, as portfolios get larger, managing that much data and reviewing all those devices becomes very difficult and time-consuming.

Again, you might consider requesting support from a third-party expert like DNV GL. We have team of experienced data analysts who have quality-checked and cleaned thousands of tower years of data and continuously monitor hundreds of devices all over the world.

In the end, ensuring a high sensor recovery rate is straight forward and manageable way to reduce your project’s uncertainty. If you want to increase your odds of getting good terms from a lender, ensure they are as comfortable as possible with your measurement campaign by partnering with DNV GL!

Contact us:

Todd Miller

Todd Miller

Head of Section, Data & Met Mast Services