Elys Energia – our customer, the spanish subsidiary of Elys France, a technical office with solid track of on Owner`s engineering and project management for renewables.
Forestalia – is business renewables group (wind, photovoltaic and biomass) based in Zaragoza and Madrid with portfolio exceeding 6 GW, some of it already in operation.
Mirova – leading player in sustainable finance based in Paris managing over 21.7 B€ in assets.
Engie – multinational electric utility company, which operates in the fields of energy transition, electricity generation and distribution, natural gas, nuclear, renewable energy, and petroleum.
With several clusters of projects planned for construction at the same time, the customer approached Elys with a big challenge ahead. Investigate all existing project documentation, provide a feasibility due diligence and give transparency to support the investment decision.
The initially 6 clusters and 24 projects were in advanced “ready for construction” state, the challenge meant going through complete sets of documentation for grid access, land usage, community permitting, technical engineering design plans, execution and schedule planning, contracts for equipment and construction management services, even a full project`s main diligence. All together a tremendous task of critical interlinked information, the majority in Spanish language, very difficult to navigate, summarise and grasp.
Other big challenges were the new Spanish grid code that was being discussed and expected to be approved during project execution, also the newly introduced wind farm compliance certification, that no one had gone through before, and even the COVID pandemic amidst construction. Finally, there was another big challenge, with so many projects advancing at the same time, there were a many engineering managers, project management, supervisors, health and safety managers, contractors, etc, entire team of people that would need to be brough together and aligned, bridging individual project daily challenges, filtering uncritical issues and back feeding important information to overall management.
When our customer approached us the challenge was set, our job consisted in organize and analyse quickly the enabling, authority related consenting documentation, providing a clear transparent clear / not clear status, and ask for missing information. This would enable the final customer to obtain a clear overview of which projects were ready to be built and which weren`t.
As a second step, go through all execution documents (engineering, land, supplier contracts etc), that would provide an overview of execution risk allocation, especially on critical issues of grid code compliance interfacing, and construction / supplies schedule. Any important critical missing technical definitions could be identified, and “too ambitious” program schedule expectatioins duly adapted, thus signaling potential tariff hurdles and impact.
The analysis made during diligence enabled and helped shortlisting the projects with less execution risk. After the analysis was performed 3 clusters and 10 projects were signed into execution, a reduction from the original proposal. Some projects were dropped since they had environmental and land concerns and eventually impact its construction.
During construction of the 10 projects, normal issues and problems arised, the majority of which could be dealt by a good performing project management team.
The main threats throughout the overall clusters continued to be electrical interfacing with 3rd party external entities, the shared usage of overhead lines, substations and its necessary modifications, delays of some supplies and the big topic “grid code compliance” as requirements were yet “non final “. Failing to be compliant meant a huge risk for the asset and a potential tremendous financial impact. Nevertheless, special deep technical efforts could be done and additional agreements were put in place with turbine suppliers and 3rd party certifier in order to cope with that moving risk.
Finally, and mostly important the final customer could successfully celebrate bringing the projects online and transition them into operation phase.