Solar Project Cost-Estimating & Pro Forma Development

Solar Project Development Budget Estimating & Pro Forma Fundamentals

October 30-31, 2023 | Online :: Central Time

To effectively utilize allocated and dedicated solar project financing, it is critical for developers, subcontractors, project managers, utilities, and suppliers to fully understand the components and practices that yield efficient and reliable solar project cost estimation.   

In this course, solar project development subject matter experts (SMEs) will guide attendees through the critical processes of developing budget and pro forma project estimates. Key components of the course include the salient factors that impact the cost of building “bankable” solar projects, including permitting and siting, materials and engineering, construction, and project management. 

Learning Outcomes  

  • Discuss the solar project planning process and budget considerations utilizing industry samples of typical projects
  • Analyze engineering, component, EPC/construction and development costs
  • Discuss the environmental and siting processes and the impact on schedules and costs
  • Compare and contrast contracting methods to include design-bid-build vs. OE/EPC projects
  • Identify strategies to mitigate risks across the spectrum of project types and sizes


Monday, October 30, 2023 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In and Welcome

12:15 – 1:00 p.m.
Lunch Break

9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.
Course Timing

9:00 – 9:20 a.m. :: Overview & Introductions

9:20 – 10:30 a.m. :: Key Concepts and Considerations in Determining Bankability

  • What Constitutes Bankability
    • Funds
    • Operations
    • Off-take strategy
  • Identifying the Players and their Bankability Roles
    • Sponsors
    • Equity investors
    • Asset owners
    • Project developers
    • Lenders
    • Power off-takers
      • Utilities
      • Corporates
      • Commercial/industrial
  • Financial Metrics
    • Levelized cost of energy (LCOE)
    • Internal rates of return (IRRs) – unlevered and levered
    • Cost of goods sold
    • Simple fixed-charge rate (FCR)
    • Net present value (NPV)
    • Capex
    • Risk
    • Return on Capital

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Key Concepts and Considerations in Determining “Bankability” (Continued)

  • Development Objective
    • Power purchase agreement (PPA)
    • BOT/BTA (Build-transfer agreement)
    • Other
  • Financial Structure
    • Single owner
    • Leveraged partnership flip
    • All equity partnership flip
    • Sale leaseback
    • Lease pass-through/inverted lease

12:15 – 1:00 p.m. :: Break for Lunch

1:00 – 2:45 p.m. :: Building a Budget

  • Development Costs
    • Point of interconnection, substation, etc.
    • Permitting, processing and regulatory
    • Engineering / EPC services and functions
    • Overhead and fees
    • Installation labor
    • Capital costs
  • Material and Component Costs
    • Modules
    • Inverters
    • Balance of system (BOS)
    • Racking/Tracking
  • O&M Cost Assumptions
  • Storage “adder”

2:45 – 3:00 p.m. :: Afternoon Break

3:00 – 4:45 p.m. :: Methods of Contracting 

  • Identify common types of contracts and contract delivery methods and understand the risks and advantages and disadvantages associated with each
  • Fixed price/lump sum
  • Cost plus
  • Time and material
  • Traditional arrangement/design-bid-build
  • EPC arrangements and risk management
  • Open book EPC variations
  • Impacts to construction process

4:45 p.m. :: Course Adjourns for Day


Tuesday, October 31, 2023 : Central Time

8:45 – 9:00 a.m.
Log In

9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Course Timing


9:00 – 10:30 a.m. :: Development Cost Estimation Process 

  • Developing budget parameters and the project plan 
  • Utility estimate components 
  • Cost estimating best practices during the project life cycle 
  • Cost reference development 
  • Risk management 
  • Expected accuracy ranges 
  • Measuring performance 
  • Project cost estimate example 
  • Industry benchmarking resources
  • Cost estimating tools commonly used in the industry

10:30 – 10:45 a.m. :: Morning Break

10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. :: Building a Budget

  • Scope of project
    • Size
    • One-off vs. fleet
    • DC or AC interconnection
    • Geography
    • Weather extremes
  • Engineering studies
  • Interconnection
  • Land assembly and acquisition
  • Soil stability, erosion design and foundations
  • O&M cost assumptions

12:15 p.m. :: Course Adjournment



Matthew Brinkman, Vice President & Regional Practice Manager – Energy, Burns & McDonnell

Matthew Brinkman is Vice President & Regional Practice Manager for Energy at Burns & McDonnell. In that capacity, starting in 2008, he led the company’s entrance into the solar market. His team of nearly 100 multi-disciplinary engineers, has more than 15GW of experience in Solar as Owners’ Engineer, Detailed Design, and Integrated EPC execution.

James F. Duffy, Partner & Chair – Renewable Energy Tax Credit Team, Nixon Peabody LLP

James F. Duffy is a partner in the Boston office of the national law firm, Nixon Peabody LLP.  He serves as the Chair of the firm’s Renewable Energy Tax Credit Team and concentrates his practice on structuring and closing transactions involving federal income tax credits and other significant federal and state income tax incentives, including Production Tax Credits for wind and other forms of renewable energy; and Energy Investment Tax Credits for solar and certain other forms of renewable energy.  He has represented numerous developers, investors, syndicators and lenders in structuring and closing renewable energy and other transactions around the country.  He is a member of the American, Massachusetts, and Boston Bar Associations. He has served as the chair of the Equity Finance Committee of the Real Estate Section of the Boston Bar Association and as a member of the Real Estate Steering Committee of the Boston Bar Association. He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island, B.A., summa cum laude (1978), and The Harvard Law School, J.D. (1981). 

Tony Grappone, Partner, Novogradac & Company LLP

Tony Grappone is a partner in the Boston, Mass. office of Novogradac & Company LLP, where he specializes in providing accounting, tax and consulting services to developers, syndicators and investors of projects that qualify for federal and state tax credits such as the low-income housing tax credit, historic rehabilitation tax credit, new markets tax credit and renewable energy tax credits. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Grappone worked at Ernst & Young LLP specializing in partnership taxation within the affordable housing industry and servicing many of the nation’s largest tax credit syndicators and investors. In addition, he served several leading venture capital firms as well as commercial real estate developers and investors. Mr. Grappone serves as a member on the Northeastern University Undergraduate Accounting Group Advisory Board and is on the board of directors of the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development. He received a bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University in Boston, Mass.

Eric McLean is President and Director of Operations at ACE Solar, a solar EPC contractor in Massachusetts. He possesses more than 20 years of experience in the construction and renewable energy engineering industries and has certifications as a Solid Waste Third Party Inspector along with Professional Engineering licenses in multiple New England states and beyond. He has supervised the design and construction of more than 1,000 solar projects and hundreds of MWs of solar capacity installed to date.  Before joining the firm, Mr. McLean was an integral part of project teams with multiple outfits involving renewable energy, soil and groundwater remediation, landfill capping, water distribution and wastewater collection system replacement, site engineering, and stormwater modeling. His strengths lie in the operational oversight he provides on all projects in which he is involved.  Several projects on which he has worked have been recognized with industry and environmental awards, including the Environmental Business Council of New England’s McGlennon Environmental Energy and Brownfield Project of the Year awards.  ACE Solar was named the #1 Solar EPC in Massachusetts for the 4th year in a row in 2020.

Arlee Jones is a Project Manager and Administrator at Tampa Electric, a subsidiary of TECO Energy (TEC) where he is responsible for the management of transmission, distribution and substation infrastructure projects in the 13kV to 230kV range and manages PV projects from the 2MW to 74.5 MW range. He has more than two decades of experience in the power design and energy consulting industry.  Mr. Jones completed advanced engineering training in the US Navy’s Nuclear Power Program where he served for 25 years and earned a BS in Nuclear Engineering. He also earned an AS degree in Electronics Engineering Technology from Southeast Arkansas University, a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of London, a Master’s Degrees in Electrical Engineering and Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.

Vignesh Ramasami is Senior Analyst for Solar & Storage at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).   He is a member of the Distributed Systems and Storage Group in the Strategic Energy Analysis Center, which he joined in 2019. His primary focus is on the system cost benchmark models and analysis.  Before joining NREL, he served as Resource Modeling Analyst for NextEra Energy, an Application Value Manager at ViZn Energy Systems and an Energy Analyst Project Intern at Schneider Electric and Business Analyst for CISCO Products, AGC Networks.

Online Delivery

We will be using Microsoft Teams to facilitate your participation in the upcoming event. You do not need to have an existing Teams account in order to participate in the broadcast – the course will play in your browser and you will have the option of using a microphone to speak with the room and ask questions, or type any questions in via the chat window and our on-site representative will relay your question to the instructor.

  • Microsoft recommends downloading and installing the Teams app if possible. You may also use the Edge browser or Chrome.
  • You will receive a separate email with a unique link to a personalized landing page which will include links to join all sessions of this event.
  • If you are using a microphone, please ensure that it is muted until such time as you need to ask a question.
  • The remote meeting connection will be open approximately 30 minutes before the start of the course. We encourage you to connect as early as possible in case you experience any unforeseen problems.


Please Note: This event is being conducted entirely online. All attendees will connect and attend from their computer, one connection per purchase. For details please see our FAQ

If you are unable to attend at the scheduled date and time, we make recordings available to all attendees for 7 days after the event


Solar Project Development Budget Estimating & Pro Forma Fundamentals

October 30-31, 2023 | Online
Individual attendee(s) - $ 1295.00 each

Volume pricing also available

Individual attendee tickets can be mixed with ticket packs for complete flexibility

Pack of 5 attendees - $ 5,180.00 (20% discount)
Pack of 10 attendees - $ 9,065.00 (30% discount)
Pack of 20 attendees - $ 15,540.00 (40% discount)

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 September 29, 2023 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




EUCI is accredited by the International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) and offers IACET CEUs for its learning events that comply with the ANSI/IACET Continuing Education and Training Standard. IACET is recognized internationally as a standard development organization and accrediting body that promotes quality of continuing education and training.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this course.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program 

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

Instructional Methods

PowerPoint presentations, interactive group exercise, and group discussion will be used during this course. 

Upon successful completion of this event, program participants interested in receiving CPE credits will receive a certificate of completion.

Course CPE Credits: 11.0
There is no prerequisite for this Course.
Program field of study: Specialized Knowledge
Program Level: Basic
Delivery Methood: Group Internet Based
Advanced Preperation: None

CpeEUCI is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its web site:



Who Should Attend 

  • Solar development and renewal energy project managers, estimators, and contract managers
  • EPCs
  • Solar engineers 
  • Supply chain and cost accounting professionals for utilities, corporate off-takers and other energy contracting organizations
  • Generation project developers and engineers who need an understanding of solar plant components and costs
  • Appraisers and cost segregation specialists
  • Investors and financial advisors
  • Regulatory agency staff
  • Consultants and engineering firms that work within the solar development sector

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. more information

By clicking Accept or closing this message, you consent to our cookies on this device in accordance with our cookie policy unless you have disabled them. You can change your cookie settings at any time but parts of our site will not function correctly without them. We use cookies during the registration process and to remember member settings.