Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Utility-Scale Solar Power Plant Fundamentals
Design Optimization, Planning & Procurement
February 26-27, 2020 | Denver, CO

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Overview

If this event is of interest you may also be interested in this related event

Solar + Storage for Utility-Scale Deployment, February 27-28, 2020 in Denver, CO

Utility-scale solar power plants now constitute the largest number of facilities under development in the past few years.  Industry experts confirm that trend will hold and perhaps even accelerate as the demand for renewable energy resources escalates. Thus, the pool is expanding of project developers, investors and utilities who must understand how to plan, develop, and interconnect these plants to the existing electric grid.

This course is designed to familiarize attendees with the key elements of planning solar power plant resources as well as design and development elements, including an understanding of component function and selection, site selection, and operational optimization. A broad review of development and capital cost deployment, coupled with energy production modeling techniques, will provide course participants with the basics of cost-of-energy analysis and how design decisions can impact overall plant economics. Solar industry practitioners will also review procurement best practices, along with design and equipment procurement considerations for mitigating risk for long-term asset owners.

Learning Outcomes  

Attendees at this course will:  

  • Discuss the fundamentals of solar utility-scale generation and its distinctive requirements on transmission and distribution systems  
  • Review fundamental design and system integration requirements of utility-scale and large-scale commercial solar projects  
  • Assess cost estimating and EPC considerations
  • Evaluate independent engineer’s (IE) role and functions
  • Examine energy modeling fundamentals
  • Analyze design optimization considerations
  • Evaluate risk assessment, risk allocation, and performance guarantees
  • Describe third-party installation review, testing and commissioning
  • Discuss linking O&M considerations to PV plant design
  • Identify procurement considerations
  • Assess resource planning for solar and technological advances
  • Define core financial modeling elements

Credits

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EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.3 CEUs for this course and 0.7 CEUs for the workshop.

 

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations and test cases will be used to present course information.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day and be in attendance for the entirety of the course to be eligible for continuing education credit.

Agenda

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

7:30 – 8:105 a.m. :: Registration and Continental Breakfast 

8:15 – 8:30 a.m. :: Overview and Introductions


8:30 – 10:30 a.m. :: Solar Building Blocks

  • History of solar technologies and industry overview
  • Photovoltaic solar modules
  • DC electrical – string and conductor sizing, protection
  • Inverters types and design considerations
  • AC collection and system protection
  • Transformers
  • Power plant control (SCADA) and monitoring
  • Other BOS components

10:30  – 10:50 a.m. :: Morning Break


10:50 am – 12:15 p.m. :: Power Plant Design & Engineering Component Evaluation/Specification/Optimization

  • Site studies
  • DC design
  • AC and medium voltage collection
  • High voltage and interconnect
  • SCADA and instrumentation
  • Spacing design
  • GIS
  • Inverter loading and tradeoffs
  • Row spacing and tradeoffs
  • Metrics and myths for evaluating optimal plant designs – lowest cost of energy and AC capacity factors
  • Evaluating storage

12:15 – 1:15 p.m. :: Group Luncheon


1:15 – 2:30 p.m. :: Cost Estimating and EPC Considerations

  • Site screening – what makes a cheap solar site?
    • Terrain and soil conditions
    • Hydrological impacts
    • Environmental mitigation
    • Labor and site access
    • Interconnection location
  • Site surveys to reduce site risk
  • Construction permitting
  • Costs associated with the power system
    • Civil works and site preparation
    • Modules and DC collection
    • Inverters and AC collection
    • HV and Substation
    • Other balance of system/plant costs
  • “Soft” costs

2:30 – 3:30 p.m. :: Independent (Owner’s) Engineer Role and Functions

This presentation will address the elements of an independent (owner’s) engineer’s role and the related concept of commissioning and how they should be executed:

  • Development phase support
  • Permitting phase support
  • Interconnection request
  • EPC request for proposal (RFP) support
  • Construction/commissioning support
  • Support during operations
  • Verify that applicable equipment and systems are installed according to the contract documents, manufacturer’s recommendations and industry accepted minimum standards
  • Verify that installing contractors perform adequate operation checkout
  • Verify and document proper performance of equipment and systems
  • Verify that the operations and maintenance (O&M) documentation left on-site is complete
  • Verify the owner’s operating personnel are adequately trained

3:30 – 3:45 p.m. :: Networking Break


3:45  – 5:00 p.m. :: Procurement Considerations

  • Supplier considerations
  • Module warranty and degradation
  • Quality, reliability, and testing protocols
  • Role of third-party certifications
  • Inspection services
  • Crafting the RFP solicitation

5:00 p.m. :: Program Adjourns for Day


Thursday, February 27, 2020

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast


8:00 – 8:45 a.m. ::  Energy Modeling Elements

  • Overview of available modeling tools
  • Evaluating weather data
  • Module mounting and shading
  • Overview of modeling losses
  • Mechanics of generating an accurate energy model
  • Energy tests, capacity tests, and performance guarantees

8:45 – 9:30 a.m. :: Core Financial Modeling Elements

  • What [are the components of/makes] “financeable” projects
  • Overview of development timeline and costs
  • Overview of operational costs
  • Review of energy production inputs
  • Review capital cost inputs and bid evaluation
  • Own vs. procure analysis
  • Evaluating storage

9:30 – 9:45 a.m. :: Morning Break


9:45 – 10:30 a.m. :: Risk Assessment, Risk Allocation, and Performance Guarantees

  • Risk assessment and identification
    • Best practices
    • Natural hazards
    • Contingent exposures
  • Risk allocation
    • Developer
    • EPC contractor
    • Vendor and supplier
    • Interconnection
    • Customer
    • Lender and equity finance
  • Insurance market
  • Bonds, surety and guarantees

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. :: Thinking with the End in Mind: Linking PV Plant Design Considerations to O&M

This segment explores linkages between key decisions made during the initial design phase and their impact on life cycle operations and maintenance (O&M) costs to better inform “thinking with the end in mind.” Given the accelerating investment in solar PV by electric utilities — and their emphasis towards holistic costs over the life of the plant, as compared to maximizing return on upfront capital expenditures — this is an increasingly important aspect in optimizing solar power plant design.   Yet, sound advice is not always followed.  Therefore, the discussion will also consider the consequences on an operating basis of how to deal with plant condition and performance issues when the design and development team didn’t/doesn’t follow O&M team guidance.  And, it will examine how the O&M team can effectively communicate its preferences to the design and development team in a fashion that can may circumvent the internal minefields that can sometimes bedevil inconvenient truths. 

11:45 a.m. :: Course Adjourns

Instructors

Matt Brinkman, Solar Business Unit and Regional Practice Manager, Burns & McDonnell

Matthew Brinkman is the Solar Business Unit and Regional Practice Manager at Burns & McDonnell.  In that capacity, he supports the company’s solar project managers and technical teams.  His team has worked on some of the largest and most lauded solar projects in the nation, including serving as the Owner’s Engineer on the largest solar thermal plant in the world (392 MW Ivanpah) and the largest solar PV project in the United States (580 MW Solar Star).   Mr Brinkman started his career at Burns & McDonnell in 1994 as a civil engineering co-op while attending North Dakota State University. In 2004, he permanently transferred to Phoenix, Arizona, and moved into a project manager role. In 2006, he was asked to start the Energy Global Practice in the Phoenix office, which has grown to the largest Energy presence in all Burns & McDonnell regional offices.  In 2008, he set up the solar business unit.  In 2013, Mr. Brinkman was named a member of Burns & McDonnell’s Principal Group, a senior-level leadership group within the company.  Among the industry recognitions he has received is an appointment by Governor Janet Brewer to serve on the Arizona governor’s Solar Advisory Task Force. 


Torrey Graf, Senior Electrical Engineer – Solar Group, Burns & McDonnell

Torrey Graf is a senior electrical engineer in the Solar Group at Burns & McDonnell. responsibilities include providing electrical design, value engineering analysis, construction monitoring, commissioning/performance field engineer and energy production modeling for energy, government, municipal, and various other projects. Mr. Graf has developed an understanding of solar inverters for the PV market – both for established and emergent technologies – as well as a deep expertise in the operation of PV power generation and their systems.


Daren Gretz, Senior Vice President – US Renewable Energy, Aon Global Power

As a senior executive for property and casualty, Daren Gretz is a team leader for US Renewables and US Central Region within Aon Global Power.  He brings 20 years of insurance and risk management experience working on project finance, development, construction and operations for global companies.  He specializes within the power sector including renewables, traditional power, biofuels, energy, infrastructure and utilities.  Mr. Gretz’s diverse project experience includes due diligence, contractual risk transfer, program design, implementation, benchmarking, risk control, claims advocacy and risk management.  This expertise is effectively applied to a portfolio of assets including solar, wind, storage, hydro, geothermal, biomass, waste to energy, biofuels, coal, natural gas, transmission and other infrastructure.


Lynsey Tibbs, Solar Operations Project Manager, Southern Power Company

Lynsey Tibbs is solar operations project manager at Southern Power Company in Birmingham, AL.  In that capacity, she is responsible for managing more than 400MW of installed solar.  Her 14 years’ experience as an energy sector engineer has deeply versed Ms Tibbs in project and contractor management, having overseen $200M of solar installations.  Besides her role in solar project implementation, she also has served the company as a solar operations project engineer and forecast analyst.

Location

EUCI Conference Center

6400 S Fiddlers Green Cir.

Greenwood Village CO, 80111

The EUCI conference center is conveniently located adjacent to the Arapahoe at Village Center Light Rail Station, allowing easy access to and from DIA, Downtown, and Local Area Attractions.

Nearby Hotels

Each of these hotels offers a complimentary shuttle to and from the EUCI conference center.

Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center
7800 East Tufts Ave
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 1-303-779-1234
2.8 miles away
Special EUCI Room Rate: $179.00
To access EUCI room rate visit denvertechcenter.regency.hyatt.com
Click “Book Now”, then click “Special Rates”
Click “Corporate or Group Code” and enter CR102338
You may also call our central reservation at 1-800-233-1234 and give them the corporate code of CR102338

Springhill Suites DTC
7900 East Peakview Ave
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 303-721-3321
0.3 miles away

Wingate by Wyndham
8000 East Peakview Ave
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 303-626-2641
0.3 miles away

Hyatt Place Denver Tech Center
8300 E.Crescent Parkway
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: 1-303-804-7000
2.1 miles away

Denver Marriott Tech Center
4900 S Syracuse St
Denver, CO 80237
Phone: 303-779-1100
3.1 miles away

Register

Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, February 07, 2020
Standard RateAttendees
Utility-Scale Solar Power Plant FundamentalsUS $ 1295.00 US $ 1495.00

This event has the following related events:

Solar + Storage for Utility-Scale DeploymentUS $ 1195.00 US $ 1395.00

Take advantage of these discounts!

  • Attend the Course and Solar + Storage for Utility-Scale Deployment and pay US $ 2,095.00 per attendee (save US $ 395.00 each)

Register 3 Send 4th Free!

Any organization wishing to send multiple attendees to these conferences may send 1 FREE for every 3 delegates registered. Please note that all registrations must be made at the same time to qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before January 24, 2020 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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