GCube held its 15th Advisory Council in Newport Beach, California on the 13th and 14th of March. The event saw a series of talks, discussion panels and group sessions led by specialists across the insurance, risk management and renewable energy sectors. This year, topics discussed included asset optimization and life extension, the PTC deadline, and the North American risk landscape.
The event was opened by GCube’s Chief Executive, Fraser McLachlan, who welcomed the attendees with a short overview of GCube’s year so far, and a call for data and insight for inclusion in the next Breaking Blades report, following the success of the original in 2014.
The PTC, data optimization, and repowering opportunities
Fraser welcomed our first speaker, Carter Atlamazoglou, Senior Director of FTI Consulting’s Clean Energy Practice, who shared his insights on the factors driving repowering in the US market, including technical advances and opportunities to “recharge” the PTC and how he has seen increasing numbers of investors buying assets specifically for repowering.
Next, Gareth Brown, Chief Executive Officer of Clir Renewables presented on the importance of asset optimization and life extension. Beginning with a discussion of missed potential on renewable project sites, Gareth went on to share his thoughts on how making sure the data collected from wind farms and the environment around them are put into the right context can ensure future performance and optimize asset management. He finished by highlighting that data secrecy impedes optimization, as sharing data creates a better understanding of risk.
Roy Munoz, GCube’s Head of Claims, ran through some of the most complex claims of the last 6 months in his ever-popular ‘Better Call Roy’ slot. He highlighted challenges including lightning and construction, before exploring a number of unusual cases and emerging trends.
Solar construction defects and cost management
Roderick Rennison, Senior Consultant at Rimkus Consulting, shared his thoughts on the design characteristics of solar farms, before expanding on the issue of uniformity across the industry. He provided valuable insights into tracker drive system failures and the reasons behind them – from contractor inexperience through to poor design choice for a site’s normal environmental conditions.
Following this, GCube President Jatin Sharma presented GCube’s perspective on the state of the market from a cost management perspective. Beginning with a retrospective look at the broad changes he’s seen in the industry throughout his career, including challenges of scale, buying in bulk, and long-term ownership, Jatin went on to discuss the driving force of the Chinese manufacturing market for production efficiencies and the issues climate change may bring for project siting.
Jatin then shared his thoughts on the US market, before providing some predictions for the coming year such as the value of OEM warranty, due diligence, and the impact of Nat Cat events.
The Advisory Council is a bi-annual event, bringing together senior representatives from the North American insurance and risk management communities for a behind closed doors discussion of key renewable energy market issues.
GCube will host its 16th Advisory Council on Wednesday 5th – Thursday 6th September 2019. September’s meeting will be held at the Renaissance Chicago Downtown Hotel in Chicago.