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The Australian Federal Government has committed up to $100 m to help develop large scale solar projects through their Large Scale Solar Programme, launched in 2015. To access the funds, project proponents were required to undertake a bidding process, that saw over 50 submissions to the Expression of Interest (EOI) at the end of 2015. After a round of appraisals proponents were then shortlisted, and required to submit a full proposal. This was the largest solar procurement exercise undertaken in Australia to date and ARENA required a partner to conduct relevant assessments of each proposal to assist in the review and ranking of projects for funding.
Advisian was engaged early in the process to conduct technical and commercial due diligence of all the projects submitted, as part of the EOI process. This work assisted in shortlisting 22 projects, which were invited to submit full proposals, of which 20 were finally submitted. Advisian undertook the technical and levelised ‘cost of energy’ assessments across these projects, including a full technical analysis each. Factors such as technology, business case metrics (ie capital and operating costs), revenue items, and a range of project related risks such as approvals and grid connection were reviewed.
The due diligence included teams from Australia and the United States and was completed in a very short timeframe. By utilising our global expertise and delivering locally, we were able to conduct a thorough due diligence process that combined local knowledge with international contemporary experience. This process ensured final outcomes, as stated by project proponents, were technically achievable, of low delivery risk and included acceptable business case metrics.