Cost Insights
by PowerAdvocate

Intelligence for energy companies seeking a data-driven approach to cost management

Solar Tariffs Expected to Impact Costs for Solar Projects: How to Mitigate, Plan, and Prepare 

February 26, 2018 at 2:49 PM / by Samantha Walter & Justin Steimle posted in Cost Reduction, Industry Insights, Utility, Capital Projects, Data and Analytics, should-cost, solar

Higher prices are on the horizon for utility-scale solar projects due to tariffs and quotas recently approved by President Trump. This new legislation could seriously impact financial plans for solar projects, but expertise in capital projects, specifically renewable projects, can help utilities, EPCs, and developers mitigate these costs and prepare for future changes.

Why are the rules changing?

In September, the International Trade Commission (ITC) determined that U.S. solar manufactures experienced significant injury due to imports of crystalline silicon photovoltaic (CSPV) solar cells and modules. This investigation stems from the United States’ Global Safeguard law, where an industry representative may petition the ITC to determine if imports are causing “serious injury” and recommend remedies. The petition was filed by the recently bankrupted Suniva and later joined by SolarWorld.

On January 22, the Trump Administration followed through with the recommendations from the ITC and imposed a four-year solar import tariff that will start at 30 percent in the first year and gradually drop to 15 percent. This tariff will apply to all CSPV solar cells and modules that are imported into the U.S. There is a quota specifically for solar panel cells which excludes the first 2.5 GW of cells imported into the U.S. each year, but the details on how the quota will apply remain undetermined. Like the tariff, the quota will last four years.  All countries are included except for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary countries, which account for less than three percent of total imports.


[Whitepaper] 4 Factors to Consider During Your Capital Program Organizational Transition

May 9, 2017 at 8:05 AM / by Christine Oumansour & Caroline Hunting posted in Utility, Capital Projects

Making any change to an organization requires proactive management to ensure a smooth transition. There are many potential pitfalls that can arise if all affected stakeholders are not aligned and actively engaged in the process. 

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[Whitepaper] How a Utility Portfolio Spend Profile Influences Capital Program Value

April 27, 2017 at 8:08 AM / by Christine Oumansour & Steven Shannon posted in Utility, Capital Projects

The foundation for an optimal utility capital project delivery model is built on a thorough understanding of the expected portfolio of work that the organization needs to accomplish. Portfolio spend profile analysis provides capital program organizations with the insight needed to determine the appropriate resourcing and risk mitigation strategies to employ in its delivery model.


[Whitepaper] How to Approach Utility Capital Project Delivery Model Optimization

April 14, 2017 at 11:01 AM / by Christine Oumansour & Andrew Jean-Louis posted in Utility, Capital Projects, capital program office, delivery model optimization

Maintaining profitability in a rapidly fluctuating market environment is a challenge for any firm. For utilities, structuring a Capital Program Office to meet the specific needs of projected workload is a key success factor. Achieving the optimal Delivery Model requires considering a wide range of factors – and a significant investment of time and resources. Before refining an existing or transitioning to a new Delivery Model, it pays to first understand the transitional costs, value, and ongoing savings opportunities.


2 New Metrics to Evaluate Gas Distribution Replacement Performance

October 6, 2016 at 11:44 AM / by Adam Pearson posted in Utility, Gas Distribution, Capital Projects, T&D

The scatterplot results from our previous blog post reveal two findings around utility gas distribution replacement rates that surprised us. First, our analysis shows that at the current rate of replacement, the majority of the industry will require at least 25 years to complete their programs. Second, we find capable, prominent companies plotted on the bottom of the y-axis – near a zero percent Replacement Rate. There are two metrics that help shed some light on what’s behind these findings.  


How Does Your Gas Distribution Replacement Rate Compare with Utility Peers?

September 20, 2016 at 7:29 AM / by Paul Cappello posted in Utility, Gas Distribution, Capital Projects, T&D

Gas distribution replacement programs are big, complex, and critical capital initiatives to manage. Natural gas utilities spend $22 billion and modernize 30,000 miles of distribution pipeline annually to ensure safety and to enhance system reliability and integrity.  From our experience providing technology and consulting to 14 of the top 50 U.S. gas utilities and helping them manage some $2.6 billion in annual gas infrastructure spend, we’ve seen utilities across the country ramp up their efforts to meet the challenge.


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