Renewable Siting Automation
By Jake Anderson - May 2017
At Anderson Optimization, our goal is to bring useful technology to the energy industry. When we founded the company, we talked to a lot of industry stakeholders and consistently heard about renewable development and siting inefficiencies - as outlined in this article, and we felt that we could provide immediate value.
Siting consists of manual processes such as ideal substation identification, manual environmental scans, costly consultant analysis, and land search processes. These activities are laborious, time consuming, and expensive.
At Anderson Optimization, our renewable siting product, AOProspect, reduces the time, effort, and cost related to these activities and is built based upon input directly from developers. With our software, developers typically double to quadruple their siting capacity and throughput.
Essential Data for Development
A key driver of inefficiency is a lack of consolidated data. Our product reduces these limitations. Currently, developers dig through a variety of utility, GIS, and county property data sources.
AOProspect comes loaded with the substation, transmission line, land, and GIS information that is necessary for early siting activities. Aside from simply housing the data, we map and display the information in our interactive mapping platform as seen in the image below.
For much of our grid infrastruce data, we include voltage and managing utility information. Our land data covers roughly 98% of the United States, and on average, each parcel of data includes roughly 20 attributes such as owner name, address, lot size, and boundary information.
We also incorporate key GIS layers such as wetlands, topography, flood hazards, and more. By simply toggling a switch, AOProspect automatically maps the GIS layers over the land and grid data.
With consolidated data, our customers are able to stop manually digging through file folders and manually conslidating layers in applications such as Google Earth, which saves significant time.
While there is value in simply providing and consolidating data, we have built a variety of automation capabilities to help expedite users’ work with the data. These features allow users to identify quality land in a matter of minutes and move through key siting processes.
Land Identification - Acreage & Radius
Users begin by automatically identifying all land parcels of a certain size that are within a certain radius of a substation with just one click.
Once users have identified land of a certain size and radius, they can apply custome filters to remove parcels that have significant wetlands or flood hazards, leaving a short list of high quality parcels.
Design & Automated Constraint Mapping
After identifying a short list of high quality parcels, users can perform early stage design work, and map out constaints with just a few clicks. This design can then be exported in KML or AutoCAD formats for later stage design and array layout processes.
Export Landowner Information for Mailers
Finally, users can export landowner data such as the owner name and address so that our users can begin reaching out via mailers.
AOProspect Improves Workflows
While these are just some of the key features of the AOProspect platform, they allow users to site an entire, new state all the way to exporting mailer information in roughly an hour. This represents drastic time savings and decreases the need for expensive consultants or headcount investments.