Let us help you plan and build your next project!

ORTECH has worked on over 1100 solar projects in Ontario, either for the IESO, equity investors or debt providers.  We uncover risks you need to understand, not provide answers you want to hear. Our role is clear, provide practical advice to ensure you can make your expected returns, service your debt financing obligations and can be compliant with your offtake contract.

Our experience leads to the right answer, right away with our results/reports/reviews including a path forward.  Communication is at the core of our values. We tend to over-communicate with our clients and strive to ensure our customers never have to call for a project update.

We are very dynamic and reactive to the market.  We have been on the forefront of the solar power industry since 2009.

We have a different approach, we strive to help our clients, regardless if it means a project for us. We regularly help developers, equity investors and debt providers connect.  It's one thing most engineering firms do not do. We feel its helps the industry, and we do not charge a fee to make introductions.

 

 

To learn more, please contact:

ORTECH has extensive experience in performing due diligence services

You have received your Power Purchase Agreement, Feed-in Tariff contract offer or RFP Win; now you are thinking “I need to get my project debt financed!”  and I need an Independent Engineer.  You have come to the right sit.

ORTECH has a long history of due diligence, peer review and auditing. The key reasons ORTECH is uniquely qualified to assist our clients in these areas are:

  • a proven audit process (plan) which incorporates lessons learned from past engagements
  • a large team of qualified auditors trained in conducting Reviews / Audits, and
  • proven company experience in a multitude of industries including Renewable Energy, Oil and Gas, Forestry, Manufacturing, Clean Technologies plus government agencies.

ORTECH has developed a detailed process for conducting due diligence on projects or potential acquisition targets or debt financing. Deliverables deal including standard checklists and engineering reports. Over the past several years, ORTECH has performed technical audits on hundreds of renewable energy facilities, environmental audits on compliance reports, peer review on technical findings and acted as expert witness for court proceedings.

ORTECH has a large team (15 – 20 personnel many of which are professional engineers) already trained and available to ensure consistent execution of the Due Diligence or Compliance Audits in a timely manner.  This means the ORTECH team is focused on the execution of the audits and not on developing a new audit process or training staff.  The large team provides our clients maximum flexibility when scheduling the required site visits and ensures the audits are completed in the shortest timeframe possible.

What is the Process for Technical due diligence

Key documentation typically reviewed for accuracy and completeness, if available before a site visit includes the following:

  1. Previous due diligence report, if applicable,
  2. Power Purchase Agreement/FIT documentation including the “Notice to Proceed” letter from the IESO and contract assignment documentation, if applicable,
  3. Key project design documentation including single line drawing, primary equipment (panels, inverters, racking) specifications (warranties) and layout,
  4. EPC agreement, construction plan and commissioning report,
  5. Domestic Content Plan (and Report if available),
  6. Grid Connection documentation,
  7. Permitting, if required,
  8. Building assessment (roof structural / condition report, electrical report),
  9. COD related documents (final Exhibit G, final Electrical Safety Association (“ESA”) inspection, notice from IESO) required to confirm the project was constructed using sound engineering and operating practices,
  10. Power output information such as calculations and /or Solar Resource Assessment (typically PVsyst simulation output),
  11. Financial Model, and
  12. Operation and maintenance logs including revenue statements from the LDC (utility), if applicable.

Why ORTECH?

Debt / Lenders Providers

Well-structured long-term debt is an essential component of successful renewable energy projects. Debt Providers trust ORTECH’s sound and conservative advice.  Our power team has planned, built and operated green generating stations.  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 the debt providers to assess and, where possible, reduce project risks.  In short, at ORTECH we speak finance.

Solar Integrators / Developers

Our team thoroughly understands all facets of development phases like design, construction and operation with the risks associated with each stage.  We know how to get tasks done in Ontario from legal, contracts, financing, permitting, resource assessments, industry players, and the political landscape.  Our provincial content is 100% with all employees and offices located in Ontario including the use of Ontario-based subcontractors when needed.  ORTECH is committed to Ontario, with all our offices and most of our clients located or operating in the province.  This focus reduces our conflict of interest issues. 

For more information, please contact

Let us design and build your solar net metering project!

What is Solar Net Metering?

Net metering allows an electricity user to install a solar PV facility onsite to generate electricity for internal use, with any excess going to the grid for a credit on future electricity bills. Net metering has been an option in Ontario since 2015 and is governed by Ontario Regulation (O. Reg. 541/05: Net Metering). However, only recently has the price of electricity and the cost of installing a solar PV facility made net metering with solar PV worth considering.

Some key business drivers that the Client should consider when evaluating whether net metering with solar PV makes sense now (2018) are:

  • the risk of electricity price increases;
  • time sensitivity for incentives; cost savings; and
  • the company’s reputation, which will benefit from generating “green” electricity.
NetMeteringInfographic2.jpeg

 

Why Solar Net Metering, now?

The Ontario government has mandated that electrical providers, Local Distribution Companies (“LDC”) allow their customers to offset their electricity use by generating renewable energy. This is called Net-Metering. Solar prices have come down and electricity costs have risen. The point where net metering makes sense for your facility may already be here.  Let us tell you if that is the case. Even without a government incentive, there is a business case to be made for Solar Net Metering.  The chart below shows your cost of electricity for the next 30 years. You can determine your own opinion on what the prices of electricity are going to be in the future. The green light below is YOUR Solar system. 

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ORTECH's Solar PV Expertise Comes From Our Consulting Experience.

ORTECH will utilize our organization’s breadth of experience. We combine different areas of expertise, from project development to operation and maintenance, providing effective solutions for the evaluation, design, installation, operation and maintenance of turnkey solar PV facilities. This will include the expertise of ORTECH’s parent company, Kontrol Energy Corp., which has extensive solar project development experience, and ORTECH’s sister company Efficiency Engineering, which has solar PV facility design and construction expertise. ORTECH has worked on over 1150 solar PV facilities in Ontario, including feasibility studies and financial analysis, technical reviews and audits, and construction management.

ORTECH's Approach to Solar Net Metering  projects:

Design, Installation and Commissioning of a Solar PV Facility:

The scope of work will include:

  • Liaison with the electrical utility to process a Net Metering contract for a solar PV facility
  • Pre-verification of Connection Capacity,
  • Prepare and submit Connection Impact Assessment (CIA) application including Single Line Diagram (SLD),
  • Structural Assessment,
  • Incentive application submittal, processing and associated assessments (if applicable),
  • Zoning verification and approval,
  • Solar PV facility roof layout design (conceptual, preliminary, detailed final),
  • Electrical engineering design (conceptual, preliminary, detailed final) with updated SLDs,
  • Structural, Mechanical and Civil engineering design (conceptual, preliminary, detailed final), as required,
  • Electricity output (PVsyst simulation based on preliminary and detailed final design),
  • Structural and Mechanical construction work, as required,
  • Supply and installation of the solar equipment including,
  • Civil construction work (trenching, concrete pads, fencing, etc., as required),
  • Testing and Commissioning,
  • Operation and Service manuals and warranty certificates, and
  • Project Management services including Client review and approval at key milestones throughout

For more information, contact Michael Tingle at mtingle@ortech.ca 


Is Net Metering with Solar PV right for your business?  We can tell you!

The Ontario government has mandated that electrical providers, Local Distribution Companies (“LDC”) allow their customers to offset their electricity use by generating renewable energy. This is called Net-Metering.

Solar prices have come down and electricity costs have risen. The point where net metering makes sense for your facility may already be here.  Let us tell you if that is the case.

NetMeteringInfographic2.jpeg

Net metering (or net energy metering, NEM) allows consumers who generate some or all of their own electricity to use that electricity anytime, instead of when it is generated. This is particularly important with solar which is not dispatchable.   Net Metering is a program for electricity users with electrical generation capabilities to reduce their energy costs by sending surplus electricity back to the grid for credit against their bill. Cost reduction or avoidance is the main purpose of this program.

How does it work?

After you are connected to the grid through the distribution system, your local distribution company (“LDC”) will report what you have generated versus what you have taken from the grid. The result is the Net difference between these two amounts.  You will get a credit if you generate more power than you received from the grid. The credit can be carried forward for up to 12 months.

Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to:

  • You must generate electricity primarily for your own use;
  • The electricity must be generated solely from a renewable resource (wind, water, solar energy or biomass); and
  • The maximum capacity of the generation facility can’t be more than 500 kilowatts.

To be eligible for Net Metering in Ontario the following conditions must be met:

  • The electricity must be consumed at the user facility;
  • The electricity generated is used at the customer's facility without reliance on any LDCs distribution system;
  • The nameplate capacity of the system cannot exceed 500 kW; and
  • The renewable energy generation system must utilize wind, solar, or bio-mass.

ORTECH offers a multi-tiered approach including:

An Initial Assessment and Feasibility Study will assist you in determining if Net Metering solution using Solar PV will benefit your bottom line.  This approach will simplify and de-mystify these up and coming technologies. ORTECH will break the process down into manageable steps.

Step 1: Initial Assessment: This assessment will determine if either a net metering or an energy storage solution will benefit your company. Net gain equates reducing the cost of energy.

Step 2: Feasibility Study:  This study will identify the high-level solution (type), benefits, costs and process to setup a net metering solution using Solar PV or an energy storage solution.

Step 3: Solution Development:  Identify options for the selected solution and develop an implementation plan for your facility.

Why ORTECH?

There are some very compelling reasons why developers and investors should engage our team for renewable energy projects including working on over 855 solar projects in the last 4 years.  ORTECH's focus on renewable energy translates into superior quality, with industry leading experts who manage projects on time and on budget.

We have a different approach, we strive to help our clients, regardless if it means a project for us. We regularly help developers, equity investors and debt providers connect.  It's one thing most engineering firms do not do. We feel its helps the industry, and we do not charge a fee to make introductions.


ORTECH’s 40 years of experience in atmospheric sciences combined with state-of-the-art modelling and analysis provide dependable results

ORTECH can develop ground up solar resource assessment for input into the financial model. This is completed in conjunction with the project design in order to advise the optimum selection of equipment, fixed or tracking racking systems for example. The resource assessment will use site specific solar resource information triangulated from nearby reference stations.

Methodology:
ORTECH uses industry standard software packages to estimate the solar resource at the Project site, Meteonorm and PVSyst. These tools provide a high quality estimate of the potential output of a solar array. However, ORTECH's experience in the application of these tools including use of site specific weather data and appropriate degradation and loss factors is vital to ensure the software presents an accurate estimate of the potential energy generation from the solar farm.

An ORTECH solar resource assessment report typically includes:

  1. General Project Description;
  2. Predicted Monthly Energy Output,
  3. 30 Year Cumulative Energy Output,
  4. Interpolated Radiation and Temperature Data Set,
  5. Array Geometry,
  6. Inverter Output Distribution,
  7. Module Mismatch Losses,
  8. PVSYST Model Input / Output, and
  9. Results/Conclusions and Uncertainties.

Why ORTECH?

ORTECH has worked extensively on solar farm economics, estimating costs and the performance of operating solar farms.  More importantly, we have experience in working closely with equity sponsors throughout the development process to revisit the financial model and input assumptions at every step of the development process.

The proforma financial models of solar projects are driven by several major factors:

  • Solar Resource and Power Price (i.e. Revenue)
  • Capital Cost and Operating Costs
  • Cost of Senior Debt

To better understand and manage these factors, ORTECH has developed a strong in-house solar resource assessment team that can optimize solar farm layout, explore the suitability of various solar panel models and is fully integrated with the financial modelling process. We also have developed a thorough understanding in estimating capital and operating costs through forecasting and backcasting work on past projects.

 

To learn more, please contact:

 

Renewable Energy Site Identification and Prospecting   Efficient, Effective and Done Right

Developers struggle with identifying land for various renewable energy projects.  There are so many variables:  RFP guidelines, land classifications, connection options and permitting risks.  That’s a lot of expertise and effort required to vet just one site.

ORTECH has a solution that allows developers to concentrate on real projects and reduces the wasted time of investigating potential land sites.

Solution: ORTECH has a database and GIS tool that can identify land for your project.  This solution takes into account the IESO rules, connection points, environmental permitting risks, land classes, and amount of land needed for your project to be viable.

What you GET!  A fully vetted list of project sites that can be developed into renewable energy projects.

Process:

  1. Determine what technology you want to develop including nameplate, general location and land characteristics. This is done through a survey.
  2. ORTECH presents license map to client. This high level map shows zones of Ontario that would potentially be viable for a project site.
  3. Client chooses zones of interest.
  4. Using a process of elimination, ORTECH will start to narrow down land zones where projects may work through a risk scoring method. Interconnection, land classes, environmental issues, land ownership (crown land etc)
  5. Initial project zones are presented to the client for approval.
  6. Determine project land owners.
  7. Contact Land owners.
  8. Present list of properties for acquisition.
  9. Negotiate Lease options.

To learn more, please contact:

 

ORTECH makes maps that tell your story

ORTECH has a versatile GIS department capable of providing services for many different market sectors. We have been offering GIS services standalone, and as a complement to all of our Air Compliance & Testing and Renewable Energy services.

ORTECH’s GIS department has been involved with countless spatial analysis projects. Using our expertise and up-to-date technology, we have performed constraint mapping and spatial analysis for a variety of projects in the renewable energy, government infrastructure and environmental consulting fields. From spatial and suitability analysis, site layout and design, to imagery analysis (to name but a few), ORTECH GIS is a malleable shop capable of adapting and performing to your project needs.

 


For more information, please contact:

 

ORTECH has extensive solar experience

Here are some examples of our work:

  • Large Commercial Bank:  Vendor of Record for rooftop solar projects due diligence for commercial banking across Ontario.
  • Silvercreek Solar Farm in Southwestern Ontario: Silvercreek retained ORTECH to provide advice in regard to comparative suitability of different types of solar modules, analysis of output and financial structure of the project, construction management, information memorandum, and other project related tasks such as financial management. The project, located near Aylmer, Ontario has reached Commercial Operation Date (“COD”) and ORTECH is assisting Silvercreek in operating the solar farm.
  • Solar Developer/Aggregator: Provided this equity investor/developer with due diligence services for eight (8) rooftop solar projects participating in the Ontario Feed in Tariff (“FIT”) program.
  • Spanish Solar Developer: Assisted Solar developer with Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (“EPC”) RFPs, blind Information memorandum, financial model, and solar resource assessment for two (2) ten (10) MW solar farms in New Jersey’s Solar Renewable Energy Credits (“SREC”) program.
  • Ontario Power Authority: One hundred and eighty seven (187) audits of existing or operational solar projects participating in the Ontario Power Authority (“OPA”)’s FIT program in the last eighteen (18) months. In addition, ORTECH concluded sixty seven (67) audits of constrained solar projects in the summer of 2014.
  • Large Solar Developer in Ontario: Review of two (2) ground mount solar projects including performance assessments and site visits.
  • Boutique Debt Provider: ORTECH reviewed eighteen (18) rooftop solar projects for debt financing in the FIT program.
  • Large Canadian Commercial Bank: Five (5) due diligence engagements for COD rooftop solar projects looking for debt financing.
  • Government Agency: Assisted governments’ consultant in providing financial analysis of FIT costs in 2009 and 2011.
  • Government Agency: Assist government agency with detailed analysis of pricing of solar, ground mount and rooftop, for the purposes of setting new FIT prices.
  • Local Distribution Company (LDC): Provided due diligence for a ten (10) MW solar farm in Ontario with a FIT contract including creating a new solar resource assessment.
  • Large Canadian Commercial Bank: ORTECH reviewed all technical components for the Bank’s due diligence process including Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) status, connection impact assessment (“CIA”), equipment vendor proposals, domestic content, financial models, constructability, solar resource assessments and insurance (one hundred and thirty six (136) projects to date.).
  • Large Real Estate Developer: ORTECH assisted developer in securing an equity position with a solar developer with a FIT contract.  Engagement included due diligence, management consulting and term sheet development.
  • Chinese Solar Developer: ORTECH reviewed six (6) sites for this equity investor for a variety of one hundred (100) kW to two hundred and fifty (250) kW rooftop solar projects in Ontario.
  • Rooftop Solar Debt Financer: ORTECH reviewed three (3) five hundred (500) kW rooftop solar projects in Ontario for a regional debt provider.
  • Large Financial Institution: ORTECH provided services to assist in developing risk management criteria for a commercial loan process for roof top solar projects including financial models, risk tolerances and vendor selection criteria.
  • Large Multinational: ORTECH was engaged to build a pipeline of viable ground mounted and rooftop solar projects within the FIT program.
  • Large Spanish Solar EPC Contractor: ORTECH was engaged to develop a pipeline of viable shovel ready ground mounted and roof top solar projects.
  • Large Renewable Energy Developer: ORTECH helped a developer review a wind project and convert to solar including financial model, solar resource assessment, site development, transmission assessment and renewable energy approval risk assessment.
  • Rooftop Solar Developer: ORTECH was engaged to develop roof top solar layouts and perform feasibility studies including structural and electrical assessments.
  • Local Rooftop Solar Developer: ORTECH acted as project advisor for twelve (12) rooftop solar projects including CIA interconnection, financial modelling, vendor management, and owners’ representative services.
  • Solar Developer: ORTECH provided project feasibility services including ground mount solar farms prospecting, solar resource assessment, financial modeling, renewable energy approval assessments, project name plate, and interconnection assessments.
  • Ground Mount Solar Developer: Site feasibility and transmission assessment for ground mount solar projects.
  • Canadian Green Energy Management: Ground mount solar feasibility work including solar resource assessments, layouts, financial models and vendor research for domestic content and warranty.