Updated: Oct 4
Like so many of you, the Flux Energy Systems team went to RE+ and had a great time! At the conference, we spoke to a lot of project developers, real estate companies and technology providers. In those conversations, a common theme emerged. Everyone, in anticipation of a huge infusion of capital, is about to kick-off large portfolios of projects across the solar, battery energy storage and electric vehicle industries. Industry veterans surely find this excitement familiar – we’ve felt this many other times. Remember the rush of battery development when the California Public Utilities Commission adopted SGIP in 2016? Or how about the number of small solar installation shops that popped up when the solar Investment Tax Credit was enacted in 2006? Most recently, we’ve seen a rush of EV charging station development centered around local utility rebate programs. Like today, these policies incentivized new developers to craft creative business strategies to support a large-scale adoption of new technology. Some of these businesses remain immensely successful, and many were not.
Flux team at RE+ 2022
As a consultant to many successful developers, as well as defunct shops, we are confident that quickly driving individual projects to completion is the best way to prove out a business model. Shorter project timelines mean fewer people-hours are invested into a project, institutional knowledge does not get lost in employee turnover, and lessons learned can be applied to the project portfolio. This is not easy to achieve since project unknowns can drag out a project schedule. However, systematically identifying and eliminating risks shortens a project schedule and allows money to be reallocated away from overly risky projects.
While our team has born witness to successful projects and very challenging projects, we have structured engineering milestones to drive project development and help address the following questions. When should money be invested into additional engineering? At what point should money be released on major project expenditures such as long lead equipment purchases? When should the project team just stop and wait? Over the course of the next four blog posts, we will detail the critical inputs and outputs for major engineering milestones: 10% Preliminary, 30% Interconnection, 60% Issue for Procurement, 90% Issue for Permit, 100% Issue for Construction and As Built drawings. Creating a new business strategy or exploring a new technology is challenging, so don’t let project unknowns hinder the planning and execution of the project. Work closely with qualified engineering professionals to guide your decisions and implementation process.
As you read these series, we hope that you will open your Gantt charts immediately and start mapping out your project milestones. As you do, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We would love to support your projects with informed, quality engineering. Even if we are not the perfect fit for your needs, we will introduce you to any one of our many other engineering contacts in the industry. With a little planning and forethought, we can thoughtfully apply the funding and achieve our industry’s aggressive goals.