The Independent Engineer provides the critical technical expertise necessary ensure the successful completion and goal realization of large renewable energy projects. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding what Independent Engineers do, what an IE report is, and who relies upon them.
An Independent Engineer is a term used for the 3rd party representative of an owner or Lender/financier. An Independent Engineer offers their clients a non-biased assessment on the technical, contractual, and financial aspects of large capital renewable energy projects.
An Independent Engineer Report (IE Report) is intended to provide the client with a review of the proposed solar project’s contractual documents and an evaluation of the technical design to verify compliance and ability to meet contractual obligations. Essentially, it is a due diligence report to help the project financiers identify and mitigate the possible risks in the proposed renewable energy project.
The scope of the analysis includes the following:
An IE Report is usually requested upon due diligence for an M&A Transaction, Construction Loan, Commissioning, a Long-Term Loan or Refinancing. The reports differ in the components based on timing and client requirements.
A typical IE report is often a combination of both due diligence and construction risk management services and can vary based on the needs of the client. For example, an IE Report prior to a Construction Loan can include not only the IE Due Diligence Review discussed above, but may also include:
In addition, services can be arranged to be performed post close of the Construction Loan such as Construction Progress Monitoring, Funds Control with option of Disbursement, as well as a variety of Commissioning services (ex: IE Witness Tests; Punch List; Placed in Service Certification; and Mechanical, Substantial, and/or Final Completion Certifications).
For an IE report requested prior to closing on a Long-Term Loan, the IE due diligence review can be combined with a Site Inspection (and Photo Log), performed in order to confirm the equipment and operational parameters documented are what was used on site. In addition, the site inspector will verify testing was done correctly with the appropriate equipment.
IE reports are issue to banks, developers, Independent Power Producer’s (IPP’s) and other Owners, and tax equity providers. In addition, IE Reports are often a requirement under government backed financing and incentive programs.