Solutions

Site Screening and Feasibility

The first step in developing a renewable energy project is to find a suitable site and assess its feasibility for development. Where should you look? Is the site you’ve found the best one available? Are there any obstacles or challenges that might affect its development? AWS Truepower can help you answer these and other questions, so that you can objectively assess your options and manage your development risks.

For initial site prospecting we use proprietary resource maps and databases in a GIS-based approach to find the right sites. We factor in preliminary analysis of the resource, distance to transmission, desired set-backs, known environmental limitations, and other important siting factors and provide developers with rank-ordered development opportunities within a set geographical region.

Learn more about what we do for:

Wind

Desktop site screening

We have developed tools to support fast and effective screening for greenfield wind project sites. Typically, the process considers the following factors:

  • ProjectEngineeringWind resource. Our high-resolution wind resource maps, among other data sources, permit efficient identification of promising windy sites and realistic estimates of production potential
  • Buildable windy area. The size of your project is constrained by the buildable area, which may be influenced by topography, property setbacks, and other considerations. We can estimate the buildable area and create preliminary layouts to illustrate your options.
  • Transmission lines. Proximity to transmission and the load-carrying capacity of existing lines are vital considerations for most projects. Our GIS experts and power engineers can help you assess your interconnection options.
  • Land cover, site access, and land-use constraints. We apply objective screening criteria to find and rank developable sites, including, e.g., compatible land uses, road access, and parks and other exclusions.

Our software can screen large regions for attractive sites and produce a ranked list with characteristics such as estimated capacity factor and rated capacity. Or if you prefer, you can perform your own screening using Windnavigator.

Field assessments

When it comes to selecting a site, there is no substitute for site visits. Our field engineers can work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions and data used in the initial site screening (such as the presence and location of existing roads and transmission lines), and address issues such as:

  • Road and transmission access
  • Potential visual and noise concerns
  • Issues of cultural, environmental, historical, or other community sensitivity
  • Possible wind monitoring locations, including site coordinates, access, and surroundings
  • Cellular telephone service reliability for automated data downloading

Feasibility study

A feasibility study allows you to weigh all of the potential risks and rewards in developing a project. A typical study will include some or all of the following elements:

  • Resource assessment based on available resource maps and data
  • Preliminary layout, turbine selection, and energy production estimate
  • Technical feasibility and technology options
  • Potential environmental concerns such as visual and noise impact and threats to endangered species
  • Regulatory requirements and challenges
  • Interconnection options
  • Potential challenges for community acceptance
  • Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma

Solar

Desktop site screening

Selecting the right site for your project is a prerequisite for success. AWS Truepower uses site screening tools and long-term solar insolation to determine resource potential and identify new opportunities for solar energy development. When evaluating sites, we look at numerous criteria such as solar resource characteristics

  • Solutions---Site-Screening-Solar_smexisting land use and area,
  • proximity to transmission,
  • thermal screening for line excess capacity,
  • shading impacts and other important siting parameters.

When multiple sites are under consideration, the calculated cost of energy, load matching quality, and other factors play a part in rankings. These comprehensive assessments provide developers with a better understanding of parcel value and help prioritize next steps.

Using our solar resource maps and observational data, GIS layers (including land cover, land use, and development exclusions), and an understanding of your project objectives, we can help identify and assess your siting options. This initial screening is usually followed by site visits by our field engineers, who will work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions, obtain additional information, and select places to install solar monitoring stations to characterize the resource.

Field assessments

When it comes to selecting a site, there is no substitute for site visits. Our field engineers can work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions and data used in the initial site screening (such as the presence and location of existing roads and transmission lines), and address issues such as:

  • Road and transmission access
  • Potential visual concerns
  • Issues of cultural, environmental, historical, or other community sensitivity
  • Possible solar monitoring locations, including site coordinates, access, and surroundings
  • Cellular telephone service reliability for automated data downloading

Feasibility

A feasibility study allows you to weigh the potential risks and rewards in developing a project before you make a large investment. Our staff, working with your team, will address some or all of the following issues:

  • Resource and energy production potential
  • Technical feasibility and technology options
  • Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma
  • Potential environmental concerns
  • Regulatory requirements and challenges
  • Interconnection requirements
  • Community acceptance

Offshore Wind

Desktop site screening

We have developed tools to support fast and effective screening for wind project sites. Typically, the process considers the following factors:

  • Wind resource. Our high-resolution wind resource maps, among other data sources, permit efficient identification of promising windy sites and realistic estimates of production potential
  • Buildable area. The size of your project is constrained by the buildable area, which may be influenced by bathymetry, shipping lanes, underwater obstacles, and other considerations. We can estimate the buildable area and create preliminary layouts to illustrate your options.
  • Transmission lines. Proximity to transmission and the load-carrying capacity of existing lines are vital considerations for most projects. Our GIS experts and power engineers can help you assess your interconnection options.
  • Administrative boundaries. We can readily incorporate the latest state and federal administrative boundaries, including Bureau of Ocean Energy Management commercial lease boundaries and Wind Energy Areas

Our software can screen large regions for attractive sites and produce a ranked list with characteristics such as estimated capacity factor and rated capacity.

US Met-Ocean Data Center

Under a DOE funded initiative, AWS Truepower has been instrumental in developing an online data center for offshore renewable energy. The data center was developed to provide offshore wind energy stakeholders and other marine renewable energy interests with information about available met-ocean datasets for the United States and related multi-sector collaborative activities to improve the quantity and quality of, and access to, met-ocean data. Included is a searchable database of various met-ocean data sets. Visit the US Met-Ocean Data Center.

Feasibility study

A comprehensive feasibility study is a necessary step for an offshore wind project. It allows you to weigh the potential risks and rewards of the project – before you make a large investment in monitoring and other development activities. A typical study will include some or all of the following elements:

  • Resource assessment based on our high-resolution mesoscale-microscale resource maps and available observational data
  • Preliminary layout, turbine selection, and energy production estimate
  • Technical feasibility and technology options
  • Potential environmental impacts on fish and bird populations
  • Water depth and wave conditions
  • Seabed analysis and foundation options
  • Constraints due to shipping lanes and boating activity
  • Regulatory requirements and challenges
  • Interconnection options
  • Potential challenges for community acceptance
  • Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma