Shining Light on Lenders’ Technical Concerns for Large-Scale Solar Projects

With increasing urgency to achieve commercial operation for utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects in Australia, the pressure on construction and commissioning timelines is mounting.

Presenting at the All-Energy 2018 conference on 3 October, Vivienne Roberts, WSP’s Project Manager – Renewables, addressed some of the common concerns identified by lenders and Lenders’ Engineers leading up to the financial close of large-scale solar projects.



Pictured above: Vivienne Roberts


“As more solar projects are developed around the country, the role of the lenders and Lenders’ Engineers has become more important in a project’s ability to successfully reach financial close,” explains Ms Roberts. “The technical due diligence review is a vital part of this process to identify potential risks and assesses the project’s technical viability.


“While each project has its own unique technical characteristics and inherent risks, there are often commonalities between projects. If you can identify them and pre-empt the lenders’ main concerns, you can help to avoid delays and progress projects from development to construction stages efficiently. In the long run, a project that can be completed efficiently allows the community to benefit faster, too.”


Ms Roberts has worked on some of largest utility-scale solar energy development and construction projects in both Australia and South Africa. She has been involved in project development, construction, commissioning and operation as both Lender’s Independent Engineer and Owner’s Engineer. Additionally, she is the author of an energy contracts book, Considering Contracts, and the founder of an online energy publication, Energy Ramblings.


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