Developing a renewable project generally follows a similar process regardless of technology. At the end of each project development stage there is a break point. At these points, developers should take stock of progress and determine whether to progress onto the next stage.

These stages are:

  • developing the idea
  • evaluating the potential
  • closing the deal
  • completing the project.

Each stage comprises a number of different steps which are detailed within the relevant technology module of the toolkit and are outlined in the diagrams below.

  • For each step of the project, there is an appropriate module which you will be signposted to as you work your way through the technology module. These are highlighted in green.
  • The tools that are available to provide support in completing a step are highlighted in orange.

Stage 1 – Developing the idea

This first stage is to take the embryo of an idea for a project and explore it further. The steps to developing that idea further to see if it is worth investing a significant amount of time and money is are provided here.

Picture of Stage 1 diagram

Stage 2 – Evaluating the potential

If after the idea has been developed further, it looks like there is a potential project, then there are a number of steps to complete to understand the value of the project.

Picture of Stage 2 diagram

Stage 3 – Closing the deal

If the project looks viable and no barriers have been identified, the process can being for securing planning consent, obtaining finance, procuring equipment and more.

Picture of stage 3 diagram

Stage 4 – Completing the project

Picture of stage 4 diagram

Throughout this journey, the Toolkit provides guidance on how to group activities in a logical sequence. This includes identified ‘break points’ to allow the user to confirm key barriers that prevent the project from progressing as soon as they are found to be non-viable. The objective here is to minimise cost and risk. As a result, you are strongly advised to follow the sequence of events that are described.

Stakeholder engagement is important throughout the project development. Engagement with your community is important during the whole project development process and will increase the likelihood of success, in particular at the stages highlighted in pink. Early stakeholder engagement can help address some of the key barriers a project will face in its development.

These barriers include:

  • obtaining planning permission
  • securing an electrical grid connection
  • securing a site on which to develop the project.

Early dialogue with key people such as your local planning authority and the local electricity distribution organisation is strongly encouraged. This can not only identify if any insurmountable barriers exist as soon as possible, it can also unlock a wide range of support that is available to you from these organisations.

This toolkit will provide you with guidance on how to engage with the relevant stakeholders.