At the start of a new alternative energy project as with any other project type it is important to start off on the right foot and in the right direction. It all starts with a discussion on what the client would like to achieve with the project. The topics that will be discussed are:
  • Is the goal energy savings on an existing utility connection, replacement of an existing utility connection or a completely off-grid site where the cost of establishing a grid connection would simply be too great?
  • In the case of an off-grid solution, would the client consider the use of a diesel generator or only battery storage?
  • Which type of alternative energy sources can be considered: Concentrated solar, solar PV, biogas, wind etc.?
  • How much funding is available? Should external funding be arranged?
Following the positive outcome of the discussion an extensive data collection process will be started in order to do a preliminary design and project feasibility report. Typically the following data will be collected:
  • Location of the site
  • Area that is earmarked for the alternative energy plant
  • Current energy bills
  • Current energy tariffs
  • Current energy reticulation drawings
  • Energy metre data for 12 months