We deploy our own capital, eliminating the risk of exposing projects to third party decisions, thus creating the best solution for our partners
We assess the full spectrum of development with our in-house team, backstopped by independent experts to ensure we’ve covered all our bases
With a unified approach to project development, market analytics and advanced engineering, we uncover critical path risks early
More than jobs and revenue, we protect the environment and preserve prime farmland, leaving communities with a project they are proud of
End to End Capabilities In-House
We cover the full spectrum of development and finance all borne and guided in-house. From project conception and transmission analysis to construction handoff, we're proud of our internal capabilities and the resulting high standard of quality.
While we strongly favor internal controls, for certain projects and regions, we will collaborate with specialized local providers that know the terrain better than us. Such providers may better understand the desires of the community, and can advise us on how best to provide for its residents. Another may be a reputable engineering firm that can fact check our work and provide additional guidance to strengthen our civil designs.
Such partners not only benefit the project and the community, but also challenge us to be our best. We prefer it this way.
Transmissions & Grid
Initial Fatal Flaw Analysis
Cash Flow Analysis
Cost & Budgeting Analysis
Meteo Data Analysis
Energy Storage Modeling
Layout & Design Analysis
Final Layout & Design
BTA or PPA Structuring
What is your project selection process and what type of resources do you use to ensure transmission and environmental constraints are considered?
Our selection process begins with a bottom up review of the market, including analysis on congestion, load, permitting risks and constructability. We typically take 3-6 months to review candidate projects before advancing to the funding stage. In this time, we apply proprietary and industry level software, such as Siemens PSSE, Anderson Optimization, AuroraXMP and a host of other tools to ensure that each project has the highest level of development certainty.
What challenges has COVID-19 brought to your project development efforts?
Development is very much an in-person profession so the inability to meet with our landowners, permitting offices and offtakers was certainly challenging. However, between 2020 and the end of 2021, ibV Energy grew its pipeline by nearly 80% by focusing on in-house engineering and deploying field teams in-person in order to site and secure land. The industry as a whole witnessed a material shift in permitting timeframes as well as supply chain issues, however we are proud that we have not lost a single project and instead, continue to drive project value through rapid adaption of tools and new management initiatives.
Why is it critical that a developer use their own capital? There seems to be plenty of capital for development purposes from third-party sources.
This is true, there is an abundance of development capital both in the US and abroad in the form of foreign direct investments (FDI). However, not all capital is equal. Using our own capital ensures that we do not place project development at risk based on the differing views with outside investors. We have seen many projects fail due to a third-party investor committing, but not deploying funds for a project development cycle that is likely to last around 4 years. As a Group, we have never abandoned a project due to lack of capital or differences with outside financial parties and we believe this differentiates us in terms of our commitment to the project.
Do you construct and operate your projects?
The Group owns and operates more than 600 MW of its own projects and globally, this will increase to operating 100% of projects that are developed internally. In the US, our business model allows for greater flexibility and thus, depending upon the environment at time of construction, we may choose to own and operate, partner with another party for partial ownership or in some cases, sell the rights to a project in order to reuse our development capital.
These decisions are never ours alone; we involve representatives from the community, landowners and offtake clients to ensure that each stakeholder has a voice. Currently, we supervise the construction of projects but do leave the actual installation works to specialized firms.
How does ibV Energy work with the community?
We are very mindful that maintaining the strongest relation with the broader community is at the heart of our success. For example, we do not use land agents but instead deploy our own full-time staff to meet with landowners, neighbors and community representatives in-person, as much as possible. We voluntarily hold town hall meetings as well as one-on-one meetings with residents that are more concerned than others. The benefits a solar power plant brings to the community are vast, including tax revenue, jobs, increased economic activity and often, improvements to the land in the form of stormwater protection and developed roads. And, our design incorporates best practices in agrivoltaics (grazing sheeps and pollinators) so we ensure that the project is in tune with nature.
What would your company do if the community wanted the solar farm to be constructed in another area of the county or city?
Of course, we would immediately review the site for its feasibility to house our project. If we are already in the interconnection queue this will be more challenging since the grid authority is studying or has studied the point of interconnection which the land is tied to. At the end of day, we want to make sure that we’re strong partners to the community and to this extent, we will address all concerns even if it means re-reviewing our efforts.
Do you develop projects other than solar and storage?
No. We are singularly focused on being the best-in-class developer of utility-scale solar and storage projects. We’ve had many opportunities (and still do today!) to enter into wind, hydrogen and even fossil fuel development but we are not interested in straying away from our expertise. We believe this also differentiates us as many developers are mired in the work of developing multiple technology platforms, each one demanding its own resources and introducing discreet risks.
What would you consider ‘red flags’ in your project development cycle?
Of course, maintaining the strongest relations with the community is paramount and should a project fail to achieve a major permit this would be a ‘red flag’. Our team ensures that a county’s planning staff and other stakeholders have a voice in our development and we make great efforts to be as transparent as possible.
Other red flags may be the result of the grid study as it pertains to the specific project. The US is facing tremendous grid congestion from an overall ageing grid. Should the grid authority determine (in their own right) that the project must pay substantial fees to connect to the grid, this could also render the project uneconomical.
What type of procurers of clean energy (electricity offtakers) do you work with?
Our commitment to each project is borne through a series of research, debate, diligence and discussions both internally and with our offtakers. We do not have a policy to work with one offtaker more than the other or one industry more than the other. We believe the best path to securing an offtake agreement – either in the form of a PPA or vPPA – is to be open and honest of the merits of the project with the community-at-large in addition to the multitude of offtakers that may be present in the region.
How does a project make money? What type of tax revenue is common to a community?
The project generates revenue by selling the electricity to an electricity offtaker. Such an offtake contract is known as a power purchase agreement (PPA) or virtual PPA (vPPA) and can be signed with either traditional utilities or corporate entities such as manufacturing plants and data centers. Typically, the PPA or vPPA is 10-20 years in length which allows banks to finance the project due to its predictable cash flow. Revenue is taxed by the local jurisdiction and used for a variety of purposes, from buying new equipment for schools and other civic institutions to providing multi-year scholarships, which ibV Energy also provides as a separate program within the region.
To find out more about the monetary benefits that our projects bring to a community, visit our ‘Communities’ section.