Proposal for Solar Database Development Austin Technology Incubator / Clean Energy Incubator Patrick Kennedy Lauren Ibises Guillemot Hernandez 8/1/2012 Purpose This document serves to illustrate next steps for the development of the Solar Database project for future associates. In addition, it indicates particular needs that require attention as the project moves forward.
Background The purpose of the Solar Database Development project is to consider the financial viability of aggregate sales of solar IV on commercial and industrial properties, both photos and parking structures, in the Austin Energy service area and to create a repeatable process for cities seeking to expand solar development. Specifically, the objective is to identify, analyze, and understand the conditions by which property stakeholders will contract for solar development on commercial rooftop, industrial rooftop, and parking structures in Austin, TX.
Previous work yielded a database of Austin sites with a k value attached to rooftop and parking structure area as well as rough notes on any complications for each site, primarily developed with the aid of Macomb’s School of Business. These values were generated through a polygon matching algorithm estimating rooftop area and assuming particular IV energy output.
Further development of the database of potential solar sites is needed as well as further investigation into the financial models most appropriate for property stakeholders. The three financial models currently being tested are standard lease of rooftop (or parking structure) space, power purchase agreement (PAPA), and full IV system sale to the property owner. As of July 2012, a BOOM survey soliciting data for Current Proposal
Ease of data entry, ease of access and data consistency are important as the project as currently envisioned involves iterating financial models and proposals through repeated contact with property stakeholders. The current approach is to develop a database of properties in the Austin Energy service area, create three different financial models as mentioned above, and present the financial models in the form of “straw-man” proposals to property stakeholders.
The intended result of this process is to be an understanding of the conditions by which property stakeholders will insider solar development. More importantly, the conditions required by property stakeholders will be inputted into the database such that as market conditions fluctuate, particular financial models embedded within the database and linked with the conditions of the property stakeholders will be highlighted as attractive or not for specific property stakeholders.
The end result is to be an adaptive database that can be monitored for market conditions in which large scale solar development (in the MAW range) is viable. Two major sources of data are needed for this database velveteen: solar IV financial including but not limited to installation cost, energy output, degradation of output, governmental incentives and rate escalators, and property stakeholder conditions, including but not limited to payback, AIR, interest rates, credit rating and interest in intangible benefits.
With multiple files and large data sets being aggregated, it becomes imperative to build a centrally located and easily accessible database from which multiple involved parties can view and edit as needed. The July 2012 distributed BOOM survey is an attempt to speed the data election process and in the upcoming months it will be clear if this tactic is effective. Further improvements on data collection speed, efficiency and effectiveness are warranted.
TAT Clean Energy Associates propose the creation off web application with a back-end database accessible to project leaders and relevant associates and a front-end user-friendly interface that can be accessible to both building representatives and IV installers for data entry. The following details the features, benefits, value-added steps, needs addressed, and potential further steps desired with this proposed system: Features
Centrally located database User-friendly interface with input fields for relevant data to be used by both solar IV installers and property stakeholders and project leads / associates Database management including controls for sorting and selecting different financial models based on selectable criteria input by solar IV installers, property stakeholders and project leads / associates Benefits Easy to monitor, access, and edit large and expanding data set for project leads / associates Standardized and customized input No loss of information when the project is transferred to new leads / associates Solar
IV installers, property stakeholders and project leads / associates can input information remotely and simultaneously Financial models can be customized independently of raw data files Sorting / selecting allows for easy to interpret financial viability of particular solar developments Value-added Steps Contact property stakeholders with initial “straw-man” proposals to learn financial terms and conditions required to develop solar Contact solar IV installers to understand solar landscape and prices Populate database with relevant information Assemble separate financial models (see Background)
Link data to financial models Solicit database / web programmer (2 months) Build GUI for the input of data Build and connect database backbend including selection, sorting and customized abilities for financial models and relative viability of solar development for sites Construct data export function for project leads / associates Needs Addressed Understanding of required terms and conditions for solar development from perspective of property stakeholders Understanding of solar IV installer market landscape for sale at scale Analysis of different financial models and the effect on ability of solar development at selected sites Central repository of easily accessible building information regarding solar development at scale in the Austin Energy service area Easily generated financial terms for population of solar development proposals Incentive for solar IV installers and property stakeholders to input information as website is easily accessible and data collection is standardized Further steps Include multiple additional site types including but not limited to hospitals, schools and retail Iterate “straw-man” proposals gaining more specificity concerning terms ND conditions for particular property stakeholders in each iteration Populate database with multiple solar IV installers to understand differences in sale prices for scaled developments Concluding Remarks The development of this web interface will address several needs discovered during the initial database development and data collection process including central database location, linked and easily modifiable data and financial models, and ease of data entry. In addition, its standardization will greatly aid future project leads and associates in efficient and effective development. Through iterations of data collection and synthesis a robust adaptive database can be built and a measure of financial viability for solar development in the Austin Energy service area can be adequately addressed. The initial “straw-man” proposals are attached below for reference.
EXAMPLE STRAW MAN – LEASING MODEL A third party investor proposes to develop, finance, install, own and operate a solar IV system to be placed at your site location (either on roof, or mounted as a parking canopy). The investor would contract with your company to lease rooftop, or parking nappy, space for 20 to 25 years. The terms of the lease would offer your company moderate but immediate cash flow on previously empty or unused assets. The lease is a long term contract, involving a sizable electrical generation facility located at your site. Solar systems operate quietly, with no moving parts. Depending considerations, a solar IV system may either be visible to employees and customers, or may be constructed on your roof so that it is not visible.
The lease agreement for the installation of this solar project would require financial, facilities, and other report decision-makers approval. We have outlined the key terms for a solar rooftop lease below. Based on this outline of terms, please indicate your firm’s potential interest in a solar rooftop lease. Indicate your expectations for approval of the lease agreement ($/MO). Based on these expectations, we will evaluate the feasibility of a solar IV project for your company’s sites. IV System to be owned by a third party investor, placed on roof and/or parking System to remain in service continuously for 20 canopy at customer site(s) – Any roof replacement to be performed prior to installation, paid for by years – property owner. – Build is owned by third party investor.