Hicksville Schools (OH) Now Powered by 788kW of Solar

New Resource Solutions played an atypical role in this project, and as such, we’re excited to share details about it.  NRS acted as the “Developer” in this project, which allowed us to better understand the risks and mitigants associated with the typical “Developer” role we often support.  For avoidance of doubt, acting as “Developer” is not a part of our core business.

Some key takeaways from this project were as follows:

  1. Working with honest, capable, and flexible partners is worth way more than Developers typically ascribe to a project.  When a deal doesn’t go as planned (and let’s be honest, most of them do not), it’s the people you’re working with who determine whether or not it falls apart.  If everyone gives a little in times of strife, no one has to give so much the deal won’t get done.
  2. Communication up front is crucial to managing expectations for the rest of the transaction.
  3. The “solar coaster” has the highest “drop” for a Developer.   Our stomach sure flipped a few times during the course of this project!
  4. A Developer needs to be prepared to spend some capital at-risk before NTP, particularly in a ground-mount transaction.  While things like ALTA surveys, Phase 1 ESAs, and endangered species studies aren’t likely to kick up any issues, they de-risk the project for an Investor.  Some Investors will self-fund or waive those requirements, but that Investor may not be willing to pay the same price for a project as a result.
  5. Single-axis trackers are tough to pull off for projects under 1-2 MWs.  If you can pull it off though, it’ll typically unlock more value for a project (i.e., a lower PPA rate or a higher project purchase price).
  6. You should continue to run your business to make money, but don’t lose sight of the broader goal that inspires most of us in this industry:  to get more solar on the grid.

You can read more about this project here.