Overview of Feasibility services
Locogen’s feasibility services distill our hands-on experience of developing, consenting, delivering and operating renewable energy projects into concise, and practical studies on the key technical, consenting and performance issues that make a project feasible and viable.
Our feasibility expertise and experience covers projects ranging from ground source heat pumps and rooftop solar to utility-scale PV and large wind energy portfolios utilising multi-MW class turbines. Locogen’s project teams include staff who have direct “hands-on” experience of developing and delivering projects, including consenting, project and construction management, and tendering and negotiation of key contracts.
We typically perform our feasibility studies in two stages. The Stage 1 First Pass Assessment provides a rapid and cost-effective desktop analysis of the potential for different renewable generation technologies at the site and the key constraints and risks to consider. At the end of this stage there will be a breakpoint where the outputs will be discussed with the Client and a selection will be made of the generation options to take forward. These services include:
- planning and technical constraints mapping using our GIS database and development experience to identify suitable areas for renewable generation development;
- a desktop study of the existing grid connection and local network capacity (using a network heat map);
- consideration of the technical and planning development risks for the identified preferred option;
- and, for projects with the possibility to value the generation onsite, an initial demand analysis of electricity consumption and profile that is to be offset against renewable generation.
The purpose of the Stage 2 Options Appraisal is to further assess the retained first pass option, especially with respect to the yield and business case. At the end of this stage, it should be possible to decide whether and what type(s) of renewable energy development at the proposed site is likely to be advantageous from an economic perspective or whether alternatives should be explored. The Options Appraisal includes the following services:
- site inspection with a senior member of the project team to better understand and discuss the site layout, future plans as well undertake an initial inspection of the identified renewable energy development option(s);
- grid discussions with the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) on behalf of the Client to better understand the available options for connection and whether there are any initially identified constraints to connecting renewable generation and/or exporting electricity from the site;
- resource and energy yield assessment – Locogen will use available reference data and our own experience from other operational sites to provide figures on the available resource, expected performance ratio and downtime resulting in an annual yield estimate;
- energy flow modelling – for projects with the possibility to value the generation onsite, Locogen can utilise half hourly data and proposed renewable technologies’ yield information to model the expected proportion of energy generation used directly by the site or exported onto the grid network (if export available); this information will also be used when considering the potential for storage technologies, other private wire sale and/or export revenue in the financial modelling stage;
- project costing – Locogen can assess the works required to develop the project(s) and provide an initial breakdown of the expected development, capital and operational costs (CAPEX and OPEX respectively) for the identified project;
- initial business case for the renewable energy project which will include a breakdown of the agreed financial assumptions, financial modelling and summary financial table(s) showing the CAPEX, OPEX, revenue (offset electricity saving and any income from sale of export and Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificates), return on investment and lifecycle payback period for each assessed option.
Feasibility Case studies
Feasibility and Technical Development support, portfolio of ground mount PV sites, > 100 MWp
Our client develops renewable energy projects for large industrial energy consumers in the UK. Locogen have an ongoing rolling Technical Support Contract. Throughout this contract, Locogen have assessed, through our streamlined First Pass Assessment (FPA) process, asset portfolios of over 20 different manufacturing/processing companies across the UK to aid in finding the most viable opportunities. The FPA process is a solely desk-based exercise, and usually based on only a point-location of each site. Land ownership for these sites is often unclear in the early stages, such that Locogen with propose several generation options based on varying land boundary assumptions and iteratively resize and remodel the sites as information is made available, and in most cases will investigate options on third party land. By efficiently and thoroughly identifying and assessing locations for solar and wind, Locogen can quickly scope out sites and prioritise projects with the fewest risks/constraints.
Feasibility and Development support, 2 MW Wind project
Locogen delivered feasibility and development works as Lead Consultant which involved securing planning consent and a grid connection agreement for the project. This involved considerable discussions with the LPA and Historic Scotland due to the site’s proximity to a battlefield which was originally deemed to be a suitable reason for refusal. Locogen completed the landscape and visual impact assessment, ecology assessment, cultural heritage works, supporting environmental document and planning application and drawings. Locogen conducted full feasibility works including energy yield assessment and financial modelling for gathering a business case for different turbine types and business models. Following purification of the planning conditions, Locogen are acting as Delivery Lead including Principal Designer for the development phase of the project. Current works include procurement discussions with manufacturers and efforts to increase the available export capacity with the DNO.
Initial Feasibility and Design, 2x Ground mount PV projects, ca 50 MWp
Our client has been aiming to develop large-scale ground mounted solar PV projects to minimise carbon emissions in support of their environmental goals.
Locogen conducted constraints assessments for two ground-mounted solar PV sites of approximately 50 hectares. This included a site visit, engagement with the resident ecologist and the environmental protection agency. Private wire off-takers were also considered in the project outline but determined unfeasible through Locogen’s analysis. Locogen designed a preliminary technical layout optimised for the sites’ constraints, conducted yield studies for these designs in PVsyst, and created detailed financial models for the project lifetime based on client input. Locogen also supported the client with studies on the integration into the client’s energy network project.
Screening, Feasibility and Development support on portfolio of ground mount PV projects, >100 MWp
In 2020, Locogen partnered on a collaborative basis to identify new ground-mounted solar opportunities across the UK. Through this work, Locogen has streamlined our solar site-finding process to efficiently and effectively screen areas within 10km from an identified point of grid connection for suitable solar opportunities. Locogen’s role includes financial assessment; identification of suitable land parcels (based on GIS constraints mapping); review of Local Authority Development Plans; solar yield analysis; and individual project risk assessment. Through this partnership, the team have been identifying large scale (>10MW) solar opportunities throughout the north west and south of England. 15 potential locations with over 40 potential solar sites have been identified to date and have progressed to the feasibility assessment stage.
In 2022, Locogen supported the acquisition of the development rights of four of these sites and currently provides consenting support and design optimisation services. We are currently in discussion to provide additional owner’s engineer support as these projects are consented and progress to the construction phase.