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 21, 2018 at 10:20 AM / 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, except for Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) beneficiary countries which account for less than three percent of total imports, are included.

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What Utilities Need to Know about Energy Storage Cost Drivers

November 27, 2017 at 4:31 PM / by PowerAdvocate posted in Cost Reduction, Utility, Cost Transformation, Data and Analytics, should-cost

More likely than not, your utility is already or soon will be procuring battery energy storage as part of its grid modernization strategy. In fact, according to BCC Research, the global market for grid-scale battery storage technologies is projected to reach nearly $4.0 billion in 2025, up from $716 million in 2015.  Battery costs have fallen dramatically over the past decade. However, events in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are putting the brakes on further cost reductions. Here’s a look at what’s happening and how you can approach your battery procurement planning in light of these events.

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Navigating Harvey's Aftermath: How Supply Chain Can Manage Market Risks

September 22, 2017 at 4:42 PM / by Toby Kearn and Jaclyn Tran posted in Cost Reduction, E&P, Utility, Midstream, Downstream

As the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast recovers from Hurricane Harvey, Supply Chain organizations face the challenge of navigating its effects, from chemicals to logistics to labor.

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Why Your Utility Should Do Should-cost Analysis

September 21, 2017 at 7:09 AM / by Kristen Brewitt posted in Utility, Cost Transformation, Supply Chain Transformation, Data and Analytics, should-cost

Do you manage a utility supply chain, procurement process, or supplier relationships? Or collaborate with and depend on teams that do? If so you know how heavy a lift it can be to effectively manage asset-intensive energy sector costs. Should-cost analysis helps address two key challenges that get in the way of delivering even more value for your organization.

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Supply Chain, Finance & the Data Analytics-driven Utility Future

June 29, 2017 at 8:19 AM / by Kristen Brewitt posted in Utility, Cost Transformation, Supply Chain Transformation, Data and Analytics

The Chief Procurement Officer’s organization has become a central driver of utility competitiveness and operational efficiency. During the EEI Annual Conference 2017 in Boston earlier this month, we had a number of discussions with CFOs around how Finance and Supply Chain can collaborate more closely to drive enterprise-wide value and efficiencies. Here's what we're seeing.

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[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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[Webinar On-demand] Imports in Peril? Power & Utility Trade Risk Exposure

May 3, 2017 at 8:03 AM / by Jaclyn Tran posted in Utility, Market Update

Trade policies have a way of changing the domestic and global supply chain landscape. A complex mix of duty rates, trade agreements, and federal policies put various pressures on supply and price dynamics. The US import exposure to any NAFTA renegotiations, for example, has been top of mind for many of our utility clients.    

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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.

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[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.

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[Webinar On-demand] Trump Risks to International Supply Chains: Utility & Power Sector Perspective

March 29, 2017 at 4:17 PM / by Jaclyn Tran posted in Utility, Market Update

The Trump Administration has ushered in a new era of policy uncertainty for your sector. While it’s not yet clear how “America First” proposals will translate into actual policy, there’s a lot at stake for utility and power companies.

PowerAdvocate’s Energy Intelligence Group has assessed the potential implications of Trump Administration proposals on the global Supply Chain, what it could mean for your organization, and courses of action you can take to mitigate risk.

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