Back Button

Quantifying Early-Stage Project Development Costs and Constraints

Published: 24. Mar. 2023
Quantifying Early-Stage Project Development Costs and Constraints

Glint Solar and pv magazine Global Webinar: Your Questions, Our Answers

Our recent webinar in collaboration with pv magazine Global was a huge success, providing us with valuable insights and engaging discussions. During the session, we delved into how various solar developers organize their solar pipelines, and what different setups mean for their business. Evan Sarkisian, our Sales VP, demonstrated how streamlining the solar development process can increase pipeline quality and velocity by empowering the business development team with engineering approved tools and allowing engineers to focus on high probability projects. 

Our webinar covered a range of topics, including:

  • How different organizations manage their solar development pipelines
  • The quantification of project pipeline inefficiencies
  • How to structure early phase pipeline workflows to ensure consistent handoffs between teams
  • How the latest advances in development software can be integrated into existing systems
  • A live demo of our software, Glint Solar

We also engaged in a Q&A session, where we received some very good questions. In this blog post, we aim to offer detailed answers to all of them.

Organizing solar development pipelines

Q: The presentation introduced two main categories of solar development: a business development driven and an engineering driven perspective. Which perspective is more common in the early phase pipeline workflows?

A: It's difficult to generalize, as both business development (BD) and engineering-driven teams exist and the allocation of resources depends on the specific context. The specific requirements of the market, the typical size of the project, and even just a few bad experiences can shape how an organization is structured. The core observation is that regardless of how the team is organized, there are fundamental risks and constraints the team has to deal with (often trading commercial risk for site quality risk). By giving BD teams engineering approved tools, they can give the engineering team higher quality projects to further analyze, cutting down development time significantly. This way, technical teams do not need to choose between investing their time in late-stage projects or helping to fill the funnel.


Data, layers, and locations

Q: What are the main functions and features of the Glint Solar software?

A: Glint Solar enables quick and easy solar site development for early-stage projects. The tool allows all data to be in one place, and development of sites effectively across multiple teams within the project pipeline. You can filter on a number of criteria such as substations, parcels, or land type and exclude environmental and protected land. It also helps you find landowners and structures outbound prospecting. By using Glint Solar, the solar development team can cut down time used on infeasible solar sites, and focus more on the higher-probability sites, resulting in a greater yield and efficiency for the whole organization.

Q: How often is the layer data in the software updated?

A: While we do make regular updates, we are not a data provider for solar developers. However, our product team works diligently to keep existing data up to date, while the frequency, and availability of data is determined by the data source and specific market conditions. The great thing about Glint Solar is that you are not solely reliant on us. You have the option to upload your own data. We don’t just consider ourselves a data provider, but rather a tool for those who wish to analyze data.

Q: Is weather data integrated into the software to support analysis, and if so, what is the timeframe covered?

A: Our report includes weather sources specific to different regions around the world, and identifies the weather file used in the analysis. As we continue to update our software, we plan to include additional weather data.

Q: In which locations is the tool currently available?

A: While our data coverage is greater in Europe, our tool is designed to function globally. We offer assistance in integrating your own layers into our software, allowing for analysis from anywhere. The real strength of our tool lies in its ability to organize and analyze multiple layers of data.

Q: Does the software show input from grid operators, substations, transmission line capacity etc.?

A: Since we are not just a data provider, but rather a platform where you can analyze data, the availability of this information also depends on the market. In some markets, the software displays input from grid operators, substations, and transmission line capacity. However, in any case, the software can show the substation's location and voltage.

Q: What are the geological properties of parcels in Glint Solar?

A: The geological properties available in the tool may vary depending on the region. However, we aim to consolidate all available data in one tool to facilitate communication between internal and external stakeholders. We have geological layers in the software, and we continuously add more data. If we don't have specific data for a particular region, we encourage our customers to add and upload data at any time. If you have any questions about the process, we're happy to help!


Use cases and value

Q: What use cases are most common among Glint Solar users?

A: Most of our customers use the tool for ground mount solar development. There are different types of organizations in this field, with their own teams and ways of doing things. The main use case for these teams is to do development for themselves or sell their solar leads to those willing to buy a project. Additionally, the tool helps organizations to organize their work and keep them aligned throughout the development pipeline.

Q: What is the recommended project size for utilizing the tool effectively?

A: Although the tool is optimized for ground-mounted projects (typically 1 MW or more), it can also be used for smaller sites. There are no specific project size restrictions for using Glint Solar.


Hybrid, storage, agrivoltaics and the future

Q: How is Glint Solar developing the tool to meet customer’s needs?

A: We are committed to understanding our customers' needs by engaging in meaningful conversations about their business model, organization structure, KPIs, and use cases. We strive to enable faster adoption and greater solar development yields over time. Additionally, we conduct extensive research in collaboration with research institutes to gain insights into the latest solar technology advancements. This helps us meet both the current and future requirements of solar developers in the best way possible.

Q: What kind of research and development projects do you have at the moment?

A: At Glint Solar, we’re always striving to develop and enhance our software capabilities to better meet the needs of our customers. Currently, we have a number of research and development projects underway that are aimed at expanding the functionality of our software and improving the accuracy of our analysis.

One of our primary areas of focus at the moment is agrivoltaics. We are engaged in a research project in collaboration with various institutes, exploring ways to support agri-tech developers and integrate agrivoltaic features into our software. This includes examining the necessary data models required for conducting agrivoltaic analysis, and exploring how we can best serve the needs of this growing market.

Another area of research we are actively pursuing is the analysis of solar PV with energy storage. This is becoming an increasingly important area of focus as the trend towards developing solar PV projects with storage continues to grow. Our team is working hard to conduct comprehensive research in this area and develop the necessary software capabilities to enable this analysis.

Finally, we are also exploring hybrid solutions, such as combining solar and wind farms. This is an exciting area of research for us, as it has the potential to unlock significant efficiencies and cost savings in the renewable energy sector. While we have not yet integrated this feature into our software, we are actively collaborating with an independent research organization to develop and refine this capability.

Overall, we are committed to remaining at the forefront of renewable energy analysis and developing the most accurate and powerful software tools available. We believe that by investing in these research and development projects, we can better serve the needs of our customers and help drive the transition to a cleaner, more sustainable energy future.

If you’re interested in trying the multiple features Glint Solar has to offer, just schedule a demo here.


Get our solar industry content delivered to your inbox for free

1x per month. No spam, pure sunshine.