Need a project reviewed? ORTECH can help!

ORTECH's environmental and renewable energy experience combines to create world class Technical due diligence expertise.  

It’s this convergence of experience and skills plus an understanding of how projects are structured and financed that sets ORTECH apart.  ORTECH’s engineers are often called “Engineers that Speak Finance”.

ORTECH can Help!

  • Expertise:
    • Solar Power
    • Energy Storage
    • Waterpower
    • Wind Power
    • Debt and Equity Investor reviews
  • Solid Reputation, Seasoned Team
  • Working for you

ORTECH’s practical experience provides its clients sound advice during all phases of a project. ORTECH is an engineering firm that understand project finance.

Project Development and Construction Services:

  • Due Diligence Services (independent engineer, power purchase agreement)
  • Financial Services (financial analysis, production forecasting, operations & maintenance planning, RFP development)
  • Mergers and Acquisition Services
  • Other Related Services (odour assessments, biomass and biogas/landfill gas analysis)
  • Planning and Permitting Services (renewable energy approvals, environmental assessments)
  • Project Management Services
  • Renewable Resource Assessment Services (wind resource, solar resource hydrology)
  • Technology Assessment Services (vendor review, engineering design, risk evaluation)

Post-Construction Operation and Maintenance Services:

  • Financial Services (financial analysis, production back casting)
  • Operations and Maintenance Planning Services (strategy, budgets, planned maintenance, parts planning)
  • Performance Optimization Services (production verification and enhancement)
  • Inspection Services (end of warranty)
  • Maintenance and Repair Services (routine, reactive, long-term service agreements)

Our philosophy is: “to be successful we must make you successful”. To achieve this, we try to see the issues through our client’s eyes and work collaboratively to solve them. We focus on maximizing project returns and minimizing project risk. For our clients we make every effort to ensure projects get permitted and built as planned. We will do everything to ensure your project is a success for you and your project team.

Investors trust ORTECH's sound advice on renewable energy projects. Our power team has planned, built and operated green generating stations. We can help mitigate risk, overcome obstacles and provide insight. Our project management and project finance skills coupled with 40 years experience in atmospheric sciences and environmental permitting make ORTECH a valuable advisor to have at your side.

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ORTECH has experience serving as an Owner's Engineer for renewable energy projects.

The role of the Owner's Representative is to ensure that the project development and construction, including schedules, permitting, contractual relationships and the release of funds are properly managed and controlled in accordance with the relevant Project agreements. Under these services, ORTECH will report any amendments to the Project completion schedule and any material change orders for owner’s approval. ORTECH's role is to ensure that the obligations are carried out in accordance with the terms of agreement.

ORTECH will ensure your projects are developed and built on time and on budget, while identifying and managing risks.

Energy Consulting for Investors:

ORTECH provides fully independent engineering review in support of debt financing, prospectus or offering memorandum. The process ensures that the technical basis for the project is sound and that the performance assumptions about the site, the permitting status, the capital cost, the revenue expectations, the operating costs and the contractual arrangements are based on defensible data and information.

Services: 
•    Independent Technical Review
•    Technical Opinion
•    Gap Analysis
•    Project Uncertainty Analysis
•    Energy Yield Verification
•    Project Economic Verification

Lender's Trust ORTECH:  Balanced, Believable, Bankable:  At ORTECH, we speak Finance!

If you are financing a renewable energy project, ORTECH can assist with a structured and efficient due diligence process.

Well-structured long term debt is an essential component of successful renewable energy projects. Debt Providers trust ORTECH’s sound and conservative advice.  Our team has planned, built and operated renewable energy facilities.  We can help mitigate risk, overcome obstacles, provide insight and bridge the gaps between the technical and the financial.  ORTECH has the experience to work with debt providers to assess and , where possible, reduce project risks.  In short, at ORTECH we are engineers speak finance.

An overview of our Structured approach:

Phase 1: Document Review: This phase is essentially a document and planning review exercise designed to uncover any deficiencies in project planning and to identify potential difficulties that may arise during the construction and operational phases. The intent is to ensure that the Debt Provider is aware of:

  • the current status of the project,
  • remaining steps required to bring the project to the construction phase,
  • the responsibilities of each party under the agreements covering the construction and operation of the project with particular emphasis on any limitations, exceptions and exclusions that may impact the ability of the owner to service the long-term debt,
  • any higher than normal risks and measures that are proposed to deal with such risks, i.e.
  • any provincial or regional content plans are in place and meet the requirements of the relevant project, and
  • confirmation, subject to proper completion of construction, that it is reasonable to assume that the project should generate sufficient revenues and cash flows to comfortably service its long-term debt.


Phase 2: Construction Monitoring:
Pending satisfactory completion of Phase 1, ORTECH will monitor all aspects of the construction phase of the project so as to ensure that:

  • design specifications are met and consistent with documentations,
  • applicable health and safety regulations are followed,
  • debt drawdown requests are in accordance with project schedule and budget and adequately documented in accordance with the loan agreement,
  • any material variances from project budget or the exhaustion or potential exhaustion of any contingencies are identified in a timely manner, and
  • any change orders are justified and at reasonable cost in the circumstances.


Phase 3: Start-up, Testing, Commissioning & Post-Commissioning Monitoring: During this phase ORTECH will ensure that the facility has been completed in manner that:

  • permits it to deliver energy to the grid in accordance with the requirements of the grid operator and in compliance with the terms of the power purchase agreement including any regional or provincial content provisions,
  • any outstanding construction and installation matters have been dealt with,
  • conditions for the release of any holdbacks are met;
  • the state of the project is such that warranties and performance guarantees are in effect, and
  • the project is operating in a manner that produces sufficient revenues to enable the owners of the project to meet its obligations to the Debt Provider. Note that this Post-Commissioning monitoring may continue for at least one year with periodic monitoring (e.g. annually) thereafter as required by the Debt Provider.

To learn more, please contact:

Power Consulting Advice you can count on! Ask us how!

The principals of ORTECH have been engaged in the power consulting business since 1999 both as developers and consultants.  A distinguishing feature of ORTECH is that it is one of the few power and renewable energy consultants in Ontario that provides both financial and technical advice.  ORTECH has extensive experience with small hydro, onshore wind, energy storage and all categories of solar.  

ORTECH is very familiar with key aspects of Ontario’s electricity market, including the following:

  • Market Participant application process and administrative requirements,
  • Transmission System Code / connection agreements,
  • Distribution System Code / connection agreements,
  • Interactions with MSP companies,
  • Various Non-Utility Generators (“NUG”) contract formats,
  • Various DCR and TMC calculations and adjustment procedures,
  • Levelization account formulas,
  • Complexity of making NUG contracts work within deregulated market rules.

From a renewable energy point of view, ORTECH has much experience in the Ontario electricity market.  ORTECH has assisted many renewable energy developers and traditional/non-traditional energy developers with various OPA RFPs, FIT or NUG contracts. 

·         Electricity procurement programs including:

  • RES RFP 1,
  • RES RFP 2,
  • RESOP,
  • RES RFP 3,
  • LRP 1 and 2, and
  • FIT 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0

ORTECH provided cost analysis to the Ministry of Finance, through FTI, regarding an international trade dispute. ORTECH’s role was to review the pricing at two periods and comment on the appropriateness of those pricing levels for FIT contracts.

Current Agency Experience:  During the latest round of renewable energy procurement termed “Large Renewable Procurement 1 (LRP1)”, applicants were required to submit a Site Consideration Form including independent engineer sign off.  ORTECH supported numerous LRP1 applications and developed best practices for preparing or reviewing these forms.  This required a deep understanding of various ministries that would also be involved in a REA.  Some of ORTECH’s more recent agency experience is highlighted in the following:

SunEdison:  Completed the natural heritage, archeological and cultural heritage assessments for three (3) projects submitting bids into the LRP1 process.

Conergy Energy:  Completed the natural heritage, archeological and cultural heritage assessments for three (3) projects submitting bids into the LRP1 process.

5 Other LRP1 Applicants:  As an Independent Engineer, ORTECH reviewed the Site Consideration Form in support of the LRP1 submission process to certify the natural heritage, archeological and cultural heritage assessments for twenty-three (23) projects where completed correctly.  ORTECH’s clients included EDPR NA, PowerStream, EDF Suez, NextEra Energy, and one other confidential client.

 

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Insurance Support and Consulting Advice you can count on! Ask us how!

ORTECH has a long history of auditing, appraising and evaluating renewable energy facilities and energy storage projects across Canada.  This covers all solar power, wind power, biomass, hydro-electricity projects including energy storage facilities. This experience lends itself very well to assisting both insurers and asset managers with insurance issues.  For insurers, ORTECH can help with initial appraisals and with validating claims. For asset managers, we can help reduce your insurance premiums by determining your actual replacement costs.  As engineers who speak finance, our team has worked on over 1200 renewal energy projects in the last nine years.

There are a number of reasons to be engage ORTECH on your next insurance issue or project.

  1. With a specialized process for due diligence, ORTECH’s experience spans multiple renewable energy technologies including solar, wind, small hydro, biomass, and the energy storage market (batteries, flywheel, hydrogen and compressed air). 
  2. Our team has worked on over 535 compliance audits of renewable energy facilities for provincial regulators, and provided technical and financial due diligence to lenders and investors for over 600 renewable energy projects. 
  3. Having trained auditors allows for faster turnarounds on project deadlines.
  4. ORTECH has a team of engineers that understands renewable energy capital and operating costs, and financial models.

Our team can provide you with the following assistance:

For Insurance Companies:

  • Initial project appraisals: determining if the project has been commissioned correctly, determining if the forecasts match up with the operating logs, reviewing the ability of the project to meet its financial obligations, e.g., debt repayments
  • Claims Support:  ORTECH can review claims including their validity, the amount of loss that is claimed, and the revenue loss due to disruption of operations.
  • Replacement Cost:  ORTECH can review existing replacement cost values or develop new ones for ever-changing markets, including removal or disposal of existing or non-operational equipment.

For busy Underwriting departments, ORTECH has been successful at turning around projects quickly and even developing new, more efficiency processes when working with various clients.  Our experience and knowledge will allow a claims manager or underwriting executive to make the right decisions.

For Asset Managers:

  • Replacement Cost:  ORTECH has been engaged to develop new or updated cost information for asset managers when their insurance has to be reviewed.  Our clients find they get less resistance to reduction in premiums when a third party independent engineer’s report accompanies their insurance application.
  • Claims Management:  Determining claimed expenses can be tricky. You want to be made whole but determining the costs and proving them is difficult. ORTECH’s reputation and experience allow the insurance company to recognize the validity of the costs.  It generally speeds up the process when the insurance company understands your efforts to generate a valid and realistic value for your claim.

With the costs of building renewable energy projects declining and the constant pressure to improve returns on investments on your renewable energy facilities, it is best practice to review the value of your facilities and go to the market for insurance estimates every couple of years.  Your premiums are linked to value of your facilities, so it is always good to hire an independent consultant to provide you with a proper valuation, supported by current data. You should discuss any changes to your insurance policy with your debt financing firm.

ORTECH looks forward to speaking with you about how we can assist you with your renewable energy insurance needs.  For further information, please contact Michael Tingle.

 

To learn more please contact:


Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Smart Green Program

ORTECH and our parent corporation, Kontrol Energy, can assist you with your application or design/build your projects.

The SMART Green Program is open to small- and medium-sized manufacturers throughout Ontario and provides assistance in the form of non-repayable grants of 50% of eligible costs up to $500,000. The program will improve the competitiveness of the Ontario manufacturing supply chain by not only delivering value to the SME-eligible manufacturers, but also by contributing to Ontario’s 2020 targets for GHG emissions reduction.

The purpose of this Program is to support investments in technology and process improvements by manufacturers which result in GHG emissions intensity reductions and/or avoidance through upgrades to process/production equipment, deliver energy efficiency, and lead to productivity improvements, which in turn lead to lower GHG emissions on per-production-unit basis; more specifically, where improvements will include new process and/or production equipment installation and associated costs to an existing facility.

Here are the list of projects categories: 

  • Boiler Right Sizing and Load Management
  • Advanced Boiler Controls
  • High Efficiency Burners
  • Feedwater Economizers
  • Combustion Air Preheat
  • Energy Efficient Motors
  • Compressed Air Upgrades
  • Solar Installation
  • Blowdown Heat Recovery
  • Condensate Return/Condensing Economizers            
  • Refrigeration Heat Recovery
  • Air Compressor Heat Recovery
  • Exhaust Gas Heat Recovery
  • Ventilation Optimization and Heat Recovery
  • Condensing Boilers
  • Biogas Boilers
  • Direct Contact Water Heaters
  • High Efficiency Heating Units
  • Building Improvements (eg. Lighting Retrofit)
  • Productivity Improvements leading to reduced energy intensity
     

 

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IESO Dispatch Management Services done right!

If you need a system that allows you to respond to the dispatch calls from the IESO, ORTECH has the technical and operational experience to help.

ORTECH has Independent Electricity System Operator ("IESO") dispatch management experience. We are currently providing these services to a 10 MW ground-mount solar facility including automation of the bid/dispatch instruction process. If you need these services, ORTECH would be happy to discuss a strategy with you.

Background:

The IESO has organized market participants into two groups:

  1. Dispatchable, and
  2. Non-dispatchable.

With dispatchable participants, they must submit bids or offers for generation, and adjust their operations based on IESO dispatch instructions.  This is part of the IESO objective to control the balance of supply with demand.

If your renewable energy project is connected to a transmission station, you are most likely required or will be required to take part in this. As a registered market participant for a dispatchable generation facility or dispatchable load facility, you must ensure that the facility complies with its dispatch instructions.

ORTECH can help developers figure out how and who will manage this new requirement. 

The key reasons ORTECH is uniquely qualified to assist market participants with their dispatch management needs:

  1. ORTECH has a dedicated computer already set-up that includes the configurations required for access to the IESO Portal;
  2. ORTECH specializes in due diligence and auditing of renewable energy projects and utilizes a well-developed process to help manage scope, schedule and budget;
  3. ORTECH engineers “speak finance” with an understanding of both the technical and financial aspects of project development and operations; and
  4. ORTECH is able to provide opinions on technical and financial aspects with a complete team experienced in renewable energy project development and operations.

To learn more, please contact:

ORTECH offers Strategy Advice for System Operator in Canada

ORTECH thinks outside the box.  Most engagements with System Operator comes from new areas. ORTECH excels at looking at new or difficult situations that need analysis and recommendations.  Below is a list of examples that showcase this internal talent.

Manitoba Hydro: The initial engagement was to share business insights on wind energy project financing, economics, risk management and project management. This project lead to further consulting work including Manitoba Hydro retaining ORTECH to estimate the power prices for typical wind farms of various sizes, wind resources and turbine models in 2007.   

ORTECH was then engaged by Manitoba Hydro for the purposes of evaluating the cost of community scale wind facilities for various sizes of small facilities using specified wind turbine generators located in representative communities and operating at average winds speeds typical of those found in the province. The intent is to estimate capital and operating costs and determine the price per MWh that would be necessary for all stakeholders to recover their investment in these projects. 

ORTECH is currently reviewing multiple renewable energy projects sizes and technologies from a financial and economic perspective for Manitoba Hydro’s 2015-2035 planning process.  ORTECH is providing a detailed analysis and summary of wind and solar PV cost for the Manitoba market. The nameplate sizes for both wind and solar include ranges similar to that being considered by YEC. Manitoba Hydro has also requested a northern cost estimate for projects located in North Manitoba. This analysis will be ready for January 2016.

Alberta Electric System Operator:  ORTECH provided consulting services to evaluate and forecast data to better integrate wind power into the electricity grid.  As part of the Alberta Energy System Operator’s (AESO) wind power forecasting pilot project, ORTECH was contracted to provide quantitative analysis services.  Wind and power forecast data was provided by three independent wind forecasting firms.  The analysis consisted of comparing the predicted data against actual meteorological data and real power data for seven existing Alberta wind power facilities and actual meteorological data and derived power data for five future Alberta wind power facilities.

The ORTECH analysis was carried out by examining the available data from each of the forecasters in seven categories, consisting of the entire dataset (All Facilities), Existing Facilities, Future Facilities and four geographic regions.  To define the four regions, the available data for the Existing Facilities and the Future Facilities were distributed geographically into South West (SW) Region, South Central (SC) Region, South East (SE) Region, and a Central Region (CE).

Independent Electricity System Operators:  ORTECH has been working with the IESO since 2011 on the project listed below.

  • Feed-in Tariff Commercial Operation Document Review and Site visits: Contract renewed for three (3) years to complete over 210 audits of existing renewable energy projects (wind, solar, biogas). The objective of the audits is to provide an assessment to the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”) on compliance with certain key obligations as outlined in the FIT Contract.  This review was based on a technical review of documentation and site visits for a sample number of total FIT Contracts which achieved Commercial Operation during a given year.
  • Technical Consultant for Renewable Generation Technologies in Ontario: ORTECH was commissioned by the OPA to collect and analyze current and forecast cost and performance data for eligible renewable energy technologies under the Ontario Feed-in Tariff Program (the “FIT Program”). The report contained the results of the analysis as it pertains to onshore and offshore wind, solar, waterpower and bio-energy renewable technologies. Each technology was considered in various representative project sizes and site applications. For solar, emerging technology options such as thin film and concentrated solar systems were also examined.
  •  Phase II Audit Compliance by FIT Suppliers:  ORTECH was the lead auditor providing technical review of 30 commissioned FIT contract facilities.
  •   Constrained Built Audit:  ORTECH conducted 84 audits of constrained built MicroFIT facilities. (June 2012-Oct. 2013)

FTI Consulting:  ORTECH provided cost analysis to the Ontario Ministry of Energy, through FTI, a global business consulting firm, regarding an international trade dispute. ORTECH’s role was to review the pricing at two points in time and comment on the appropriateness of those pricing levels for FIT contracts. (March 2012).  These technologies include onshore wind, ground mounted solar and roof top solar with roof top solar in various representative sizes. FTI was to use the examples provided by ORTECH in support of expert testimony given on behalf of the Province of Ontario in response to a complaint made to the World Trade Organization (the “WTO”) concerning the Ontario Feed-in Tariff (“FIT”) Program. 

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