Fife-based energy consultancy Everoze has launched its LEAF (Life Extension Assessment Framework) to help project owners make better decisions about the future of renewables assets and portfolios as they reach maturity.
Following initial trials, Everoze was engaged last month to carry out a LEAF assessment by a UK developer which operates a large portfolio of renewable assets, including a number of mature onshore wind projects.
The framework is used to progressively explore and short-list end of life options in terms of feasibility, risk and economics. A cross disciplinary perspective is applied throughout to ensure technical, commercial, regulatory, finance and economic angles are recognised, within a holistic framework.
Everoze partner, Joe Phillips explained: “It’s not simply a choice between life extension, repowering and decommissioning.
“There are a myriad of options across this spectrum, some of which challenge renewables assets and their owners to adopt very different operational or business models.
“We’ve been surprised about the level of appetite and the economic case for adding solar or storage capacity to existing wind farms, for example. The lifetime IRR improvement comparing existing and rebooted assets can be well in excess of 0.5%.”
Fellow partner, Colin Morgan added “The most valuable thing about an asset might not be the turbines or modules, but rather hard-won local stakeholder relationships and access to a firm grid connection.
“This is about working creatively to explore what a site could become, before making a cold, hard assessment of risks and rewards. We are finding that there is no one-size-fits all answer – every site is different.
“What is clear is that technology, regulation and markets have all shifted radically over the last decade and these changes are due to shake-up the size and shape of the operating fleet over the next.”