Advisory Services

Advisory Services

Through Aurora’s comprehensive experience in the development, permitting & licensing, tendering, financial close, construction and operations of a number of our own facilities, we are ideally placed to provide clients with advisory services including:

Due Diligence and Investment Support

Our team has worked on all aspects of project development including due diligence, environmental, land, technical, financial and socio-economic assessments. Given our experience as a developer, investor, and EPC contractor (through our sister company, SOLA Future Energy), we offer our experience to assist clients in their complete appraisal of solar PV projects.

Feasibility Assessment for a Greenfield Project

Having originated more than 600MW of greenfield projects, Aurora can provide a comprehensive assessment on a proposed solar plant’s feasibility. We will advise on appropriate location, lay-out and size, and are able to compile a detailed energy yield report with highly accurate information as to the system’s forecasted energy production.

Tariff Analysis and Financial Modelling

The Aurora team has in-depth experience with financial modelling of solar projects. The team is well-equipped to review or build, analyse and optimise financial models using up-to-date solar resource, EPC and financial market data. Based on the proposed project structure, we provide our view on applicable equity and debt terms. This service is offered at two levels; in the form of a high-level review providing an indicative tariff given the specifics of the project, or a detailed financial model that can be used to determine more accurate solar tariffs, financial returns and other key metrics.

Management of Financial Close

We have worked on the closing of 10 utility-scale solar PV projects in South Africa, and have expertise in all activities associated with the closure of solar PV projects including:

  • Permitting, licensing and grid connection approval
  • Land rights and servitude agreements
  • Satisfying all environmental conditions
  • Negotiation of EPC and O&M contracts
  • Structuring project finance arrangements
  • Negotiating lender terms
  • Completing and satisfying all legal, technical and insurance due diligence

Our team offers its experience to third parties and can assist projects with their financial close process.

Development and Permitting Services

For large ground-mounted projects, the development trajectory of obtaining all regulatory clearances, environmental permits and licenses is a lengthy process. Aurora assists clients with this development trajectory and ensures that a proposed project site is ready for investment & construction when required.

Key benefits of developing a solar site ahead of tendering and construction include:

  • Significant time saving
    • Pre-construction development for a large ground-mounted PV facility takes 14 – 20 months
    • By completing the development prior to tender, bidders are able to start construction soonest
  • Accurate and competitive pricing resulting in more bidders taking an interest in tendering
  • Bidders can be held to bid pricing through the removal of ground, environmental and permitting caveats from tendered pricing
  • Fairly compare like-for-like proposals  as bids are based on the same accurate site specifications and conditions
  • Maximum flexibility in timing of construction
    • The permitting work is valid for 5 years
  • Potential returns of project known prior to engagement with Bidders

Starting with the development trajectory early on can help clients to benefit from solar energy as soon as the business case exists. Specifically for South Africa, it is estimated that the cost of energy generated by utility-scale solar PV will be more affordable than the national grid’s bulk tariff by 2019/2020.