HOW WE WORK
We deliver on our promises
As technology has evolved, our approach has remained unchanging: honest communication, respectful listening, and honoring our commitments to our partners. We seek to create value for all stakeholders, including generations to come.
1. Site identification and resource assessment
Our expertise in site identification and resource assessment is an Orion competitive advantage.
Our team of meteorologists, engineers, and developers visits and studies sites across the country to find those locations with the right combination of solar or wind resources, willing landowners, compatible environmental conditions, and transmission grid accessibility.
Relying on decades of experience, sophisticated models, and on-site measurement, our team works to determine if a site has sufficient solar or wind resources to be competitive in the marketplace.
We also look at other important factors such as:
- Connection to the Grid: Can the local grid accept the power the site will produce?
- Economic Feasibility: What are the expected revenues vs. costs of construction and operation? We build detailed financial models to answer these questions.
- Environmental Conditions: Can the site generate enough power? What can we learn from publicly available environmental data, including topography, flood profiles and wetlands?
- Community Support: Will the local community embrace a wind or solar farm? We know that in order to succeed, we must develop strong relationships and be a good neighbor in the communities in which we operate.
3. Lease negotiation
A carefully planned lease or easement agreement is the foundation of win-win deals between our company and landowners. We listen closely to landowners and carefully craft agreements to address their concerns.
Typical land agreements have a pre-construction period during which Orion works to clear all development and financing hurdles and lays the plans to allow construction to begin.
Orion works closely with utilities and grid operators to ensure a project can safely deliver electricity to the grid. The interconnection process includes lengthy studies of the project’s electrical design, the overall grid capacity, and the need for potential upgrades to the electrical grid to accommodate the project’s electrical output. Once required studies are completed, an interconnection agreement is finalized. An interconnection agreement lays out responsibilities for the project, the utility, and the grid operator regarding the project’s delivery of power into the electricity grid.
5. Environmental review and permitting
Orion conducts a suite of reviews of each potential site in order to ensure that a project will be compatible with the local environment. These reviews help identify historical or archaeological features, wetlands, past soil contamination, and any sensitive species that may be impacted.
The results of environmental assessments are used to establish whether a particular site is compatible with renewable power generation, and if so, to develop a site design that will avoid or minimize potential environmental impacts. Once we determine that a site is economically viable and environmentally responsible, we work to procure all necessary permits and approvals from local and state governments.
6. Power sales and asset sales
A reliable and creditworthy power purchaser or “liquid” energy market for the power generated by a project must be identified. Power sales agreements are entered into with electric utility companies, commercial and industrial customers, or power marketers who purchase the electricity, typically under long-term contracts.
We also negotiate Asset Purchase Agreements or Build-Transfer Agreements with utilities. In these types of agreements, the utility purchases project development assets or a fully constructed project.
Renewable power projects are capital intensive. Thanks to our long and successful track record and our reputation for integrity, we have a large number of partners eager to provide financing to our projects.
We have decades of experience with construction finance, term loans, and highly structured equity investments. This ensures that once development is complete, we can move efficiently into construction and then operations, assured that the capital is there to purchase equipment and construct the project.
8. Equipment procurement and construction
Orion is not affiliated with any solar panel or wind turbine manufacturer. This independence, coupled with our experience working with all major manufacturers, allows us to select the most competitive, reliable, and technically suitable generating equipment for each project. We also have extensive experience negotiating engineering and construction contracts with the contractors who will ultimately prepare the site and install the renewable energy project.
We deliver on our promises.
We’d love to hear from you, answer your questions and discuss possible projects.