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W|EPC: Analyzing Energy Project Contract Terms – Risks, Strategies & Comps

Analyzing Energy Project Contract Terms – Part 1 – Risks, Strategies & Comps Across Stakeholder Groups – Q420

Analyzing EPC Risk Avoidance: Comps & Techniques For Investors, Owners, & Contractors

W|EPC analyzed ~$20B of publicly available EPC lump sum turn-key (LSTK) contracts, focusing on sensitive or contentious terms used to allocate risk, manage performance expectations, & establish a framework for third-party indemnification and liquidated damages, etc. (Pages 3, 5-7, & 9-17). Specific points of emphasis:

  • Investors: Leveraging a project’s future expansion plans to protect ROE and/ maximize options (ROFR) options. (Pages 5, 9-11)
  • Owners: Finding & justifying onerous contract terms as market or on-the-run.
  • Contractors: Avoiding those onerous contract terms.

Analyzing Notable Risks

  • Liability & Indemnity: Existing Facilities can be problematic for Contractors & expose stakeholders. (Pages 5, 9-11)
  • Performance Guarantees & Damages: Numerous performance guarantees were publicly disclosed (likely inadvertently) that illustrates risks & production, emissions, and/or power consumption liabilities. (Pages 6, 12-14)
  • Technical Risk Allocation: One project’s subsurface provisions are tighter and limit change orders provisions for differences in soils data. (Pages 7, 15-17)

Distributing Project Risk Amid A Ramp In Renewables

  • The steep ramp in renewables demand & project development could create an opportunity/leverage for participating EPC providers to ultimately own less project risk.
  • Certain renewable projects could struggle getting an EPC LSTK contract (typically advantageous for the project owner, at the expense of the EPC provider). Dominion Energy (D), for instance, was unsuccessful in finding an EPC provider to provide a LSTK contract for their Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) project.
  • EPC providers may have some leverage here, at least for now. W|EPC believes integrating EPC contract strategies/terms earlier than traditional projects (i.e. hydrocarbons) will improve risk/reward.

W|EPC: Analyzing Energy Project Contract Terms – Risks, Strategies & Comps

Table Of Contents:

  • Key Takeaways  – Page 2
  • EPC Contracts Analyzed – Page 3
  • Overview – Notable Risks for Any Projects – Page 4
    • Third-Party Indemnification – Page 5
    • Performance Guarantees – Page 6
    • Rely-Upon Information – Page 7
  • Contract Analysis, Significance, Negotiation Strategies, & Comps – Page 8
    • Third-Party Indemnification – Page 9
    • Performance Guarantees – Page 12
    • Technical Risk Allocation – Page 15

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Webber Research: Reviewing California’s Rollout Plans For A Hydrogen Fueling Network

Webber Research: Reviewing California’s Rollout Plans For A Hydrogen Fueling Network Evaluating Safety, Cost, & Implementation Data

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In mid-November the California Air Resources Board (CARB) published initial plans detailing the development and implementation of a light-duty hydrogen fueling station networks, including a focus on financial self-sufficiency.

Specifically, CARB’s initial draft highlights:
1. Estimates around required state-support and eventual self-sufficiency
2. A comparison of existing market solutions, ongoing government research, and the latest awards in the Energy Commission’s Grant Funding program.
3. The economic sensitivity around FCEV deployment and the pace of network development.
4. Opportunities for cost reductions
5. Potential price reductions at the pump
6. Regional economic differences

Within the context of CARB’s report, we evaluated the economics and risks for deployment of Hydrogen fueling station options based on the following:
• Public Safety
• Climate Change and Air Quality – Tank to Wheel (TTW) – Well to Wheel (WTW)
• Gas Station Infrastructure Costs
• Hydrogen Costs at Pump for Consumer

W|EPC Takeaway: As highlighted below, if the primary goal of CARB is to reduce tailpipe emissions, we believe electric vehicles and hydrogen vehicles are the most viable options today. However, if the goal is to reduce total emissions and to implement hydrogen fueling as quickly, safely, and cost-effectively as possible, it opens the door for a mix of other fuel considerations – including biofuels, e-fuels, and other energy mediums to expedite the Hydrogen Economy. We believe how California ultimately balances those priorities will determine what it’s future fueling network looks like.

Climate Change & Air Quality
Air quality and the need for sustainable future fuels to reduce GHG emissions is driving alternative fuel technology development. CARB’s Low Carbon Fuel Credits (LCFC) are based on Well to Wheel Carbon Intensity Scores (CI) that identify upstream pollution caused by fuels.

Gas Station Infrastructure Costs
Future fuels (i.e. H2, Ammonia, Methanol) will require new infrastructure in almost all cases to meet federal and state emission guidelines. The Implementation cost of these can vary from storage retrofitting, to +$1 million infrastructure upgrades. The costs could further increase based on the engineering design and blast radius study results.
Hydrogen gas station equipment could include:
• Compressors – 350 bar pressure
• Above Ground Storage
250 bar pressure
250 kg storage
• H2 Dispenser Larger corporate gas stations may have the financial means to implement the costly infrastructure upgrades especially if supported by fuel tax credits. However, smaller gas stations may face challenges investing in the capital costs & the ~$2K/month electricity bill to own & operate the equipment.

Cost comparisons vs the low-cost alternative for Methanol:
• Hydrogen – See Figure 6. Multiple scenarios based on CARB capital cost estimates
• Methanol to Hydrogen in Vehicle – ~$50,000 per gas station to upgrade storage
• Methanol to Hydrogen at Pump – ~$1 million per gas station (250kg H2 storage)

Hydrogen Costs at Pump for Consumer: ~$16/kg and by 2030 as Low as $8/kg?
At the pump, the H2 price begins to stack up due to CAPEX, maintenance, safety, and production costs. We have provided a few options that have been considered for comparisons sake below that could further drive down the cost of hydrogen.

• Centralized Electrolysis: ~$8/kg
• Centralized Reformer (No Carbon Capture): ~$2.50/kg
• Methanol Reforming at Pump: ~$5/kg
Includes 250kg hydrogen storage and compression
• Methanol Reforming in Vehicle: ~$3.50/kg
Gas Station infrastructure cost are relatively minimal

For a methanol reforming at pump scenario, storage-related infrastructure costs could be lighter as Methanol is a potential mid-stream solution for hydrogen, and is generally easier to store in large quantities – potentially pushing the hydrogen cost at the pump level below $10/kg in a shorter timeframe.


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Webber Research: Renewables Weekly

Webber Research: Renewables Weekly 11/18/2020

  • Highlights:
    • PLUG – $846MM Public Offering
    • ENPH ACM Partnership & Dist Agreement In The Philippines
    • BLNK Cable Management Solution
    • AMRC Completes Two Projects
    • FLR Collaboration With Sargent & Lundy On Modular Nuclear Plant
    • RIDE Business Updates
    • Vestas Orders In Poland & UK
    • SGRE Introduces Low-Wind Turbine
    • Nordex 302MW Order In Texas
    • DNV GL Certifies GE’s Haliade-X Prototype
    • US Net Electricity Generation
    • Solar PV Pricing
    • LCOE Benchmarks & Timeseries
    • Global Wind Turbine Market Share
    • Global Solar PV Inverter Market Share
    • US Wind & Solar Projects Announced Or In Early Development
  • PLUG $846MM Public Offering: On 11/16 PLUG announced it would offer 38MM shares at $22.25 (11% discount to its previous close) for total proceeds of ~$846MM (upsized from $750MM). We note this is PLUG’s third public offering in the past year and adds to its $200MM convertible notes from May. PLUG ended Q3 with ~$450MM in unrestricted cash (+$700MM including restricted cash) which, even with significant Capex going to construction of the Gigafactory, we think was enough runway to 2023-2024 when PLUG is expected to start generating positive cash flow. The offering would bring PLUG’s pro forma cash balance to over $1.5B, which we think has less to do with added conservatism (after reporting positive Q3 EBITDA and raising its 2021 gross billings guidance last week) and more to do with accelerating its green hydrogen strategy, potential M&A, and/or other unannounced growth opportunities (partnerships in the US with a major software player or in the EU with an auto OEM). We’ll see…
  • ENPH ACM Partnership & Distribution Agreement In The Philippines: On 11/16 ENPH announced an agreement with MSpectrum to distribute ENPH products to residential and commercial installers across the Philippines. IQ 7 products will be available in Q121. ENPH also announced a strategic partnership with DMEGC Solar Energy to develop a high-efficiency Enphase Energized AC Module (ACM) for the European solar market. The Mono PERC Black Enphase Energized ACM features IQ 7 microinverters and is currently available in France and the Netherlands.
  • BLNK Cable Management Solution: On 11/16, BLNK introduced its new Cable Management Solution for new and existing EV Charger locations. The new system is compatible with rectangular and triangular pedestal charging stations as well as wall or pedestal mounted chargers. It also features a retraction mechanism similar to most gas pump designs for customer familiarity.


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Webber Research: Renewables Weekly

Webber Research: Renewables Weekly 11/05/2020

  • Baker Hughes (BKR) Buys Carbon Capture Platform
  • Dominion (D )Proposes 9 New Solar Facilities For ~500MW
  • AMRC – 2 New Contracts In Oregon
  • Neste Acquires Neighboring Refinery Plant
  • ITRI Deploys AMI In Canada
  • AGR Investor Day & PNM Merger
  • Vestas Buys Out MHI Stake In MHI Vestas JV
  • AEP PPAs In Ohio
  • Diamond Green Diesel Receives Air Permit From TCEQ
  • US Net Electricity Generation
  • Solar PV Pricing
  • LCOE Benchmarks & Timeseries
  • Global Wind Turbine Market Share
  • Global Solar PV Inverter Market Share
  • US Wind & Solar Projects Announced Or In Early Development

BKR Buys Carbon Capture Platform: On 11/3 BKR announced it acquired Compact Carbon Capture (3C) for an undisclosed amount. BKR plans to accelerate development and commercialization of 3C’s carbon capture solution, which adds to its existing portfolio of carbon capture technology including turbomachinery, solvent-based capture processes, well construction, CO2 storage management, and digital monitoring solutions…

Dominion Proposes 9 New Solar Facilities For ~500MW: On 11/2, Dominion Energy (D) proposed a slate of 9 new solar projects with output of 498MW. Six of the facilities (416MW) are through PPAs, helping to fulfill the Virginia Clean Economy Act (VCEA) requirement of having 1/3 of new solar and onshore wind be procured through PPAs through 2035….

AMRC 2 New Contracts In Oregon: On 10/26 and 10/27 AMRC…..







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Webber Research: Renewable Energy Weekly

  • ENPH Partners With 5B In Australia
  • GE Renewable Energy Q1 Earnings
  • Sunpower COVID Updates
  • Safe Harbor Deadline Extension Brought To Treasury
  • BNEF Semi-Annual LCOE Update (Page 2, Charts On Page 4)
  • New York Approves Offshore Wind Plans, But Delays Action Due To COVID
  • Orsted’s 120GW Skipjack Offshore Wind Farm Delayed 1 Year
  • Q Cells Tops US Market Share
  • Sunrun Hires New CFO
  • Houston’s First Climate Action Plan
  • California Confirms PV & Storage Installers Are Essential Workers
  • Chicago Supporting EV Adoption
  • Figures:
  • US Net Electricity Generation By Type
  • US Net Electricity Generation By Renewable Type
  • Monthly Net Wind & Solar Generation State
  • Weekly Solar System Pricing
  • Grid-Tie Solar System Weekly Retailer Price ($US/Watt)
  • Solar Panel / Solar Module 120W+ Weekly Retailer Price ($US/Watt)

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ENPH Partners With 5B In Australia: On 4/22 ENPH announced it would collaborate with Australian solar innovator, 5B in its role in the Resilient Energy Collective (REC) – aimed at providing solar power solutions to Australians disconnected by bushfires and floods. 5B selected ENPH’s IQ 7+ microinverters to pair with its portable Maverick solar array systems, which will also be outfitted with Enphase Envoy with (communication gateway) which connects the system to Enphase Enlighten for easy monitoring & maintenance. ENPH also announced a partnership with Sunlogics in Belgium on 4/29 as its exclusive microinverter supplier using IQ 7 and 7+ microinverters (also outfitted with Envoy). Separately, after the close on 4/27 ENPH was announced to replace Core Laboratories (CLB) in the S&P MidCap 400 index effective before the market open on 5/1. ENPH traded up 16% on 4/28 as a result.

GE Renewable Energy Q1 Earnings: On 4/29 GE reported a $302MM Q1 loss in its Renewable Energy segment, down from a $187MM loss in Q119. Orders declined 13% y/y to $3.1B, which GE attributed mostly to poor execution and only partly to COVIDrelated supply chain disruptions and delays. GE highlighted LM Wind’s sites closures in India and the US and capacity reductions at 3 other sites in its Onshore Wind business (previously disclosed). In its Offshore Wind business, GE remains on track for certification of its Haliade-X turbine and plans to start production after delivering its 80- unit 6MW commitments to EDF (expected completion 2021). In Grid & Hydro, GE is operating 15 factories at full utilization, 10 factories at less than 80% utilization, and 8 factories at less than 50% utilization. Its facilities located in China are operating at preCOVID levels, including Wuhan which was shut down for 6 weeks. Overall GE said COVID-19 has had a limited effect on its Renewables business but that it’s monitoring supply chain constraints and implementing cost-out and restructuring initiatives.

Sunpower COVID Updates: On 4/20 SPWR announced further actions to address the financial and operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic including reducing base salaries of executive management another 35-50% (after cutting 25-30% and withdrawing 2020 financial guidance a month earlier), idling factories in France, Malaysia, Mexico, the Philippines, and the US (with expectations to bring them back online in the coming few weeks), and temporarily transitioning a portion of its employees to 4-day work weeks in response to reduced demand and workload (affecting ~3,000 workers according to GTM), but it said it’s still on track to spin-off its manufacturing arm, Maxeon Solar Technologies by the end of Q2.

Safe Harbor Deadline Extension Brought To Treasury: Last week senators from the Energy and Natural Resources Committee wrote a letter to the Department of Treasury advocating a 1yr deadline extensions for the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and Production Tax Credit (PTC) due to setbacks related to the COVID-19 outbreak. …continued

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Exxon, Qatar & Golden Pass: Something’s Gotta Give

Analyzing Project Costs & Logistics In The COVID Era
(Part 1 of 2 – Satellite Image Analysis Later This Week)

  • Golden Pass: 4 Key Takeaways……………………………………Page 2
  • EPC: Monthly Progress Evolution……………………………….. Page 3
  • April 2020 Project Update…………………………………………Page 4
    • IP & Construction Activity ……………………………………Page 5
    • Labor Logistics In The COVID Era ………………………….Page 6
    • Cost Analysis – Significant Overruns Already?……………Page 8
    • COVID-19 Impact …………………………………………….Page 9
  • December 2019 Baseline
    • Partner Organization, Key Participants ……………………Page 10
    • EPC Roles: MDR, Zachry, Chiyoda …………………………Page 12
    • Variance Analysis …………………………………………….Page 14

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Key Takeaways:

1) What’s Eating Golden Pass? QP & XOM Get Squirrelly In Press. On April 6th, the NYT ran an exclusive quoting Saad al-Kaabi (former QP CEO & current Qatar Energy Minister) as saying Golden Pass (GPX) was proceeding and on schedule. However, that was quickly followed by QP’s 30% partner Exxon (XOM) cutting $11B of 2020 CAPEX, delaying FID for Rovuma LNG (Mozambique), reiterating Coral LNG’s development, while ignoring GPX altogether. Since then, the NYT took down the article, energy markets are upside down, & questions mount. Based on actual EPC progress, we believe the reaffirmed GPX schedule falls somewhere between…..continued (Pages 2-3)
2) Is Golden Pass In Trouble? Monthly Progress Analysis. We believe GPX’s engineering has remained well behind schedule. Data suggests GPX has been attempting (unsuccessfully) to ramp labor earlier than planned…continued (Pages 9 & 13-14)
3) Labor Logistics In The COVID Era…On 4/17/20, GPX requested additional on-site parking amid challenges with safely busing craft workers to the site amid a global pandemic, however busing craft workers wasn’t supposed to begin for another year (2021). This minor, intuitive disclosure actually offers a few significant read-throughs for the project, as well as its path moving forward…continued (Pages 6-8)
4) Cost Overruns Poised To Accelerate From Here? Over the next 6 months we believe the project is already looking at construction cost overruns (relative to its baseline schedule) of at least…continued (Page 7)

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