Solar Energy

WSP supports the industry’s leading developers, lenders and constructors, and provides expertise in solar energy engineering and technical advisory services. We help clients meet challenges in planning and executing high-performance solar energy projects.

Solar PV plants delivering some of the world’s cheapest power quickly and effectively to established and emerging economies. Floating solar PV plants delivering power and reducing evaporative losses. Solar power combined with battery systems delivering dependable power at utility scale. Façade and rooftop solar panels installed on public buildings. Renewable energy support mechanisms and sustainability policies adopted by governments and private sector investment. Solar technology that allows the production of electricity, irrespective of overcast skies or nightfall. As solar technological innovation evolves at unimaginable speeds, it is undeniably continuing to disrupt conventional thinking with respect to energy planning.

Converting sunlight to generate electricity is attracting increased interest as it can be used to counter energy security concerns over fossil fuel dependency, decrease carbon emissions and reduce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change, as well as help secure energy costs to achieve financial and environmental sustainability. Furthermore, solar projects are less demanding to execute than large hydro, nuclear and most thermal power ventures and, at a utility scale, they can help alleviate some of the burdens associated with delivering much needed power to underdeveloped or remote areas with minimal access to power.

Supporting Developers, Financiers, Contractors, Governments and Offtakers Alike

WSP offers expertise in solar energy engineering design, technical advisory and project delivery services to support manufacturers, developers, contractors, utility companies, owners, investors / lenders and governments in meeting the challenges faced in planning and executing solar projects. These can include accurately assessing energy yield, and developing electrical, civil / structural and control system engineering design and specifications, all the way through to performing strategic investigations on solar energy investments, preparing and reviewing power purchase agreements (PPAs), managing tendering process, managing and monitoring construction and commissioning of solar power plants, as well as monitoring performance and maintenance during the operational phase, and more.  

Our network of project managers, engineers, specialists and technicians have helped clients navigate through ever-changing regulatory requirements to secure required permits and approvals, conducted market research and grid interconnection studies and approvals, and advised on a range of environmental planning issues. We have delivered a full suite of engineering design solutions to help develop effective and robust solar power schemes, including utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) power plants.

Integrated and Cost-Effective Solar Solutions

Whether in rural and outlying areas restricted by grid access, in northern latitudes or in urban centres, our team can help evaluate solar resource potential, maximize efficiency and cost effectiveness, and minimize risks associated with small, mid-tier and large-scale solar power projects, as well as assist with integrating solar systems, on and off power grids. 
Alongside a thorough understanding of design issues, our specialist engineers are fully versed in the most recent technologies available for installation. We offer a vast range of services under the following categories:

  • Planning and site screening

  • Feasibility studies

  • Resource and Energy Yield Assessment (EYA)

  • Conceptual engineering and initial planning

  • Detailed design engineering

  • Technical and Environmental Due Diligence

  • Lender’s Technical Advisor (LTA) or Lender’s Engineer

  • Technical studies such as grid integration and network studies

  • Facility engineering services

  • Environmental and permitting services

  • Construction and commissioning related services (Owner’s Engineer)

  • Project management and implementation programme

  • Operational monitoring

  • Government advisory services

Bringing Solar Energy Projects to Fruition

WSP has participated in various solar thermal, ground- and building-mounted solar PV arrays, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), and on and off-grid generation projects around the world, including the US, Canada, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East and across Europe.

As we help bring our clients’ solar projects to life, we ensure to emphasize sustainability that adds value, delivers the highest quality solutions at the lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), and positively impacts the environment and society as a whole. Below are sample projects where we have helped design with the future in mind.

  • As owner’s engineer, WSP is currently supporting a client during the start-up, commissioning and performance acceptance testing of a solar project in the US southwest. Our team is facilitating the transition of project operations from the general contractor to plant owner, and providing a technical interface with equipment vendors and other contractors during start-up.

  • WSP is providing technical advisory services through an independent assessment of the net energy yield for a portfolio of solar PV projects in South America. Each project is under 9 MW AC and will sell energy at a stabilized price as part of the country’s Small Means of Distributed Generation program. Deliverables include PVsyst reports, energy yield assessment reports, and site visits to determine constructability/suitability issues.

  • With respect to feasibility studies, WSP is working on the development of a roof- and parking canopy-mounted for solar PV generating capacity in the Caribbean. Our team supplied a pre-feasibility study including site assessment and data collection, review of meteorological data, conceptual engineering design and cost estimates, energy yield assessment and system optimization, and financial analysis. While the study is now complete, the project meets the technical and financial performance goals specified by the client, and will be taken next to a tender process to retain the services of a design-build contractor.

  • WSP delivered the environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) for the Kalahari Solar Power Project, the first concentrated solar power project in southern Africa to be brought to feasibility stage, on behalf of Group Five. We also managed the stakeholder consultation process which was of great significance given the potential changes to the landscape.

  • We were appointed as the lender’s engineer to an international financial institution seeking to finance a renewable energy developer with a portfolio of solar PV projects in the Middle East. The project sites utilized both thin film and polycrystalline technology with various system designs. Ranging from 0.59 MWp to 11 MWp, the licensed and unlicensed projects included one operational plant, seven plants under construction, and 10 further sites under development. WSP identified technical issues outlining country-specific processes and risks involved, which allowed our client to make informed decisions on their potential investment.

  • As sustainability consultant, WSP mapped out the ‘net zero carbon’ strategy for Graylingwell Park’s new build and retrofit housing project, a flagship zero-carbon community under development in southern England. As solar PV is a key element in the development’s renewable strategy, we handled this aspect of the project from resource assessment to functional specification and tender.

Need additional information on our solar expertise and capabilities? Contact us to see how we can help.