Key Considerations for On-Site Energy Generation
Exploring onsite renewable energy options can be a complex process. There are a lot of things to consider so that your business can take all of the necessary steps to make an informed decision. To help make sense of it all, we’ve broken down the key considerations and created an easy to use checklist to help along the way.
Scoping and Agreeing Objectives
Before diving into any renewable energy project, it’s important to scope out the project and decide on your objectives. You’ll need to consider what types of on-site renewable energy options are available (like solar, CHP, or biomass) and which would be most suitable for your business.
You should also think about your objectives for the renewable energy project. Do you want to contribute to the electricity used on site, cover all electricity needs to go “off grid,” or export electricity to the grid? Answering these questions will help determine the size and scale of the project. It may help to talk through your scope and objectives with an energy manager who can help you work out what it is you want to achieve.
Feasibility, Financing, and Timescales
To make sure the project is feasible, you’ll need to run a basic feasibility study. This should cover areas like feasibility/payback, building/structure, planning permission, and electrical capacity.
Next, you’ll need to figure out how the renewable energy project will be financed. You can consider CAPEX funding, financed funding, or a power purchase agreement (PPA) funded option. If you want to learn more about different financing options, we’ve covered this in a previous EnergyIntel: 5 Ways to Finance Energy Efficiency Projects.
It’s also important to establish the timeframe for implementing the renewable energy project. This will help you plan for the installation and ensure that it’s completed within your desired timeframe.
Full System Design, Tendering, and Analysis
Once you’ve established the scope, objectives, feasibility, financing, and timescale, it’s time to do a full system design. This will allow suppliers to provide accurate quotes and ensure that the project meets your business’s needs.
After the system design is complete, you’ll need to obtain quotes from several suppliers. This will help you compare prices and find the best supplier for the project.
When you’ve received the quotes, you’ll then need to analyse them and make comparisons, normalising the data as much as possible. This will help you make an informed decision about which supplier to choose.
Sometimes it’s better to bring in experts to help make sense of it all. Our energy management team produces comprehensive proposals that cover the design, tendering, and analysis, along with the different financing options available.
Board Level Decision, Installation, and Evaluation
Once you’ve analysed the quotes, you’ll probably need to get board level approval to proceed with the project, agree on a supplier, and negotiate the terms. This is also where an expert could be handy, helping present what is a complex and technical product.
After you’ve been given the go ahead, you’ll need to start thinking about the installation process. You should appoint an internal project manager who will be responsible for ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. The installation should also be carried out in line with the agreed terms, and the system needs to be installed correctly and functions properly.
Once the installation is complete, you’ll want to evaluate the results to ensure that the project is delivering on the objectives outlined earlier in the project. This will help you determine if any changes need to be made to the system. It’s also important to consider the maintenance and servicing requirements for your on-site renewable energy project. Regular maintenance and servicing will be necessary to ensure that the system continues to function effectively.
By following these considerations, you can ensure that you’re taking all of the necessary steps to make an informed decision and implement a successful onsite energy project. To make things even easier, we’ve created a downloadable renewable energy checklist that you can use as a reference throughout the process. Just fill out the form, and we’ll send the checklist straight to your inbox.
We’re also on hand to help you determine the best on-site energy generation option for your business, from feasibility and quote sourcing to installation. To chat with us about your options, simply get in touch.
Author: Robyn Miller, Marketing Manager
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