Solar energyProject Solar Farm Solutions & the Australian Energy Sector
This Lessons Learnt Report outlines the key learnings Solcast has learnt in the six month period of April 2019 – October 2019 in regard to their involvement in the ARENA Short Term Forecasting trial.
Project Partner changes
Project partner company personnel changes, solar farm construction delays, and AMEO farm restrictions, has meant the project has had to find replacements for 4 of the original farms. 2 key lessons here are the importance of Project Risk Management Plan to appropriately and timely manage project risks, and the importance of structurally sound project design.
Risk management is a critical component of project management, necessary for successful delivery. During initial project design, this risk was flagged, and detailed actions drafted to mitigate it. Further, Solcast existing relationships with many Solar Farm owners, asset managers and related business in the industry helped reduce the impact of this risk event. By adhering to the risk management plan, the addition of new partners to the project was de-risked, and project and budget have progressed through staging as initially planned.
Risk management is an important consideration in project design. The project was structurally designed in such a way that the initial phases of the project were focused on building farm-agnostic forecast capability. This project staging meant no project funds were expended on unrecoverable costs. Solcast key takeaway from project partner changes was the reinforcement of the need for detailed project design. This has been a strength for Solcast, with extensive experience of senior staff in the design and successful delivery of large projects, in both research and commercial spaces. Further, the development and rolling updating of project risk management plans continues to be a core activity performed by Solcast on all projects.