12 Aug 2020 .

Natural Power gears up for global solar growth

With more than 140GW of new PV plant expected to be added to grids around the world this year, up almost 15% on 2019*, we are gearing up to support the global industry build-out the expansion.

In the past 12 months, we have supported more than 6GW of solar projects, half of which have been in North America, including work as technical advisor, independent engineer of record, energy yield analysis, providing expertise on PV plant lifetime extension, and installation quality, as well as more than 100MW of storage projects supported through due diligence and lender’s technical advisor roles.

Demonstrating further commitment to support the solar industry in North America, we recently opened our 12th global office in Golden, Colorado. Initially, there will be four keys members of the team here, including the recently appointed Dr Vardaan (Dan) Chawla as Principal Solar Engineer, as well as Chris Mertes (PE), Head of Advisory; Chad Homuth (PE), Senior Project Engineer; and Reece Enderson (PE) Senior Project Manager.

Dan has more than a decade of professional experience in the solar industry. He adds extensive experience with solar technology and as an independent engineer of record on numerous utility scale solar projects and C&I portfolios for financial transactions. He is an expert on solar technology, resource and energy generation modelling, site evaluation, and storage technology.  

In Ireland, we have provided M&A advisory services on more than 50 solar projects so far in 2020, with 17 of these projects securing successful results in the recent Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction. The range of services included site optimisation, energy yield analysis, planning and environmental and grid connection services, and it is expected that procurement and owner’s engineer services will follow on a number of these projects as they progress towards the construction phase.

Furthermore, Andrew Cowley, a Chartered Engineer (MEI) and solar and battery storage expert has been appointed to join the UK team, and Meriadeg Charlou has bolstered the solar credentials for Natural Power France by achieving several OPQIBI qualifications which recognise competence and professionalism in engineering services, including N° 2011 the study of production installations of photovoltaic solar energy, N°2015 engineering of solar installations using photovoltaic solar energy and achieving RGE status (Recognised Guarantor of the Environment), which is awarded to professionals providing intellectual services contributing to the energy performance of buildings and facilities in France.

Shawn Shaw, Head of Solar and Energy Storage at Natural Power, said: “An independent engineering or advisory firm is only as good as its people, and I am really excited about the growth across our global solar and energy storage team.

"As one of the leading technical advisors supporting all types of project transactions, our experts are working hand in hand with banks, sponsors, lenders, and some of the biggest players in the market, to get projects and portfolios built using the latest technologies and market innovations, from hybrid systems to novel PV modules.”

Globally, we have supported approximately 15GW across more than 240 solar projects since 2017, with 100 projects supported in the US market alone. Delivering work for major sponsors, and tax and equity investors, we also continue to support due diligence on stand-alone storage facilities in major markets across North America.

The business has a proven reputation and track record of working with clients to deliver solar projects from site finding and feasibility studies through permitting and construction. In-house experts on grid, planning, ecology, human use considerations, ground conditions and flood risk assessment work seamlessly to identify sites with the lowest associated risk in terms of consent and build conditions. Find out more here.