PF Engineers has a wide depth of experience on various energy technologies and facilities. Our personnel have over 25 years of experience in the energy field and combine a unique skill set of being able to evaluate the technical aspects of a project and effectively communicate those details to our clients. We have worked on over 45 Gigawatts of IE reviews and over 5 GW of detailed design experience. Plus, we have an extensive background in biofuels and process design having worked on biofuels facilities with a combined production capacity of over 2 billion gallons per year.
NOTE: Each of the photos below is of a project that we have worked on and/or are actively supporting.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or if we can help in any way.
Experience: We have reviewed numerous projects throughout North America utilizing technologies including: GE, Siemens, Mitsubishi, Enercon, Vestas, Nordex, Clipper, Alstom, Gamesa, and more.
Common Issues: Wind resource, location, fleet issues (i.e. gearboxes, blade cracking, etc.), and O&M
Risk Mitigants: Financial model to apply appropriate P-value for wind resource, review of site ingress and egress, turbine technology review, and thorough OM review.
Experience: We have reviewed dozens of facilities, with various fuel supply methodologies, and combustion technologies (i.e. stoker, CFB, bubbling bed, etc.)
Common Issues: Fuel supply, fuel variability, material handling (i.e. fuel and ash), emissions.
Risk Mitigants: Contracted fuel supply or minimal spot market purchases, BACT equipment (i.e. SCR, CO Catalyst, ESP, Baghouse, and overfire air.
Experience: We have reviewed numerous solar facilities both utility scale and rooftop installations. We have dealt with most major panel and inverter suppliers.
Common Issues: Solar resource, real estate risk, equipment issues, OEM stability, and O&M.
Risk Mitigants: Financial model to apply appropriate P-value for solar resource, solid O&M plan, and make sure that the equipment/OEM is vetted.
Experience: We have reviewed Pelton, Francis, and Kaplan technologies. We have reviewed the acquisition of a number of operating hydro assets as well as new build.
Common Issues: Environmental restrictions, hydrology, construction costs and schedule.
Risk Mitigants: Ensure the project has solid environmental planning, provide independent check of the hydrology, and detailed construction review with emphasis on contingency.
Experience: We were engaged as an expert witness one of the last IPP WTE projects built in the US. We have reviewed several other WTE facilities in development.
Common Issues: Material handling (i.e. fuel and ash), emissions, and construction cost and schedule.
Risk Mitigants: Reduce the availability to support additional maintenance required, include BACT emissions equipment, detailed construction costs and schedule assessment.
Experience: We have reviewed numerous LFG facilities. Most facilities burned LFG in reciprocating engines, although we have deal with facilities adding conditioned LFG to a gas pipeline.
Common Issues: Gas availability and gas impurities (i.e. hydrogen sulfides and siloxanes).
Risk Mitigants: Independent check of gas supply model (both technically and contractually), and ensure the appropriate gas conditioning is incorporated into the project.
Experience: We have reviewed flash, binary, and Ormat technologies. Each technology has their own characteristics and limitations.
Common Issues: Steam resource, steam impurities, and O&M.
Risk Mitigants: Experienced firm to complete resource study, incorporate the key steam conditioning systems, and maintain a detailed O&M plan.
Experience: We have reviewed a number of different digester technologies. Digesters have inherent operational issues in order to prevent fouling and the maintenance of the bacteria in each system.
Common Issues: Digester fouling, gas impurities, and gas quality variation.
Risk Mitigants: Ensure sufficient maintenance time is allocated for cleaning of digesters, and include gas conditioning systems with the project.
Experience: We have reviewed a number of coal facilities with a variety of technologies such as PC (critical, supercritical, and ultra-supercritical), bubbling bed, CFB, and stoker. Recently, we have completed condition assessments of aging coal plants for planned retirement or life extension.
Common Issues: Emissions and public perception.
Risk Mitigants: Ensure that the plants utilize BACT to minimize emissions. Public perception is a matter of the developer executing a public relations plan.
Experience: Combined cycle is one of our primary expertise. We have worked the application of most OEM technologies including GE, Mitsubishi, Siemens, Alstom, Solar, and more. We are experienced with combined cycle plants from development, construction, performance testing, and operations.
Common Issues: Technology risk, emissions, market risk, and long term O&M costs.
Risk Mitigants: The application of an LTSA can mitigate technology risk and O&M costs, BACT emissions equipment, and a PPA to manage market risks.
Experience: We have reviewed numerous peaking facilities using F-Class technology as well at aeroderivative technology. Simple cycle units are commonly used as peaking facilities. We are experienced with combined cycle plants from development, construction, performance testing, and operations.
Common Issues: Technology risk, emissions, market risk, and long term O&M costs.
Risk Mitigants: Maintenance plan as an LTSA may not be as cost effective on a peaking plant, BACT emissions equipment, and a PPA.
Experience: We have reviewed the application of multiple reciprocating engines. These engines can be excellent power generation equipment in remote areas or island generation grids. We have worked with Jenbacher, Mann, and CAT to name a few.
Common Issues: Emissions, efficiency, O&M.
Risk Mitigants: Additional emission abatement equipment as needed, a PPA to cover fuel and efficiency concerns, and an O&M plan to cover the regular maintenance.
Experience: During the ethanol boom, we reviewed approximately 2 billion gallons per year of ethanol facilities utilizing technologies from ICM, Poet, KATZEN, Vogelbusch, and some less common technologies.
Common Issues: Market risk for feedstock pricing and ethanol pricing.
Risk Mitigants: Feedstock and ethanol agreements. However, new entry into the ethanol space is now rare. The market risks are an impediment to market entry.
Experience: We have reviewed a few biodiesel facilities with various feedstocks. We've looked at rape seed oil, jatropha, animal fats, and yellow grease.
Common Issues: Market risk for feedstock pricing and biodiesel pricing.
Risk Mitigants: Feedstock and biodiesel agreements. New entry into the biodiesel space is limited. The market risks are an impediment to entry into this space.
Experience: We've evaluated a couple of next generation technologies including cellulosic and algae applications.
Common Issues: Technology and scale up risk.
Risk Mitigants: At this point, the technology risk is the key. Demonstration plants can help mitigate the technical risks, but these pilot plants needs to gradually demonstrate the ability to be scaled.
Experience: Typically, once per year we will review some type of new or non-standard technology. These reviews are either from a lender who is intrigued by the potential of the project or by a developer looking to get an IE perspective of the technology.
Role: We perform a standard IE evaluate of the project and provide a report/memo to support our findings. Depending upon the progress made with the development, we will review the technologies and the associated contracts for the project to assess the risks to the project if it were to go to financing.
Experience: Periodically, we have provided an IE review of major equipment alone. This is typically when you have a new technology or a new piece of equipment entering the market. A good example of this are new combustion turbines when they come to the market or new wind turbines.
Role: For these types of reviews, we are to provide some additional technical support to the lenders or the developers on the selected and/or proposed equipment. We would interview the OEM and occasionally, visit the manufacturing facilities to inspect the new equipment first hand.
Experience: We have reviewed a number of energy storage technologies including: molten salt, flywheel, battery, pumped storage, liquified air, and more. With the intermittent generation of renewables, Energy Storage will be critical for grid stability as more and more renewable projects are installed.
Role: Right now, Energy Storage projects are primarily technology reviews to ensure the storage technology will work. Batteries are leading the technical push, but there are other new technologies that working to break into the growing Energy Storage market.
Experience: We have reviewed a number of different pieces of equipment that have been in long term storage. A common approach for new developers is to purchase gray market equipment to save money on equipment costs.
Role: We evaluate the condition of the gray market equipment based on storage ambient conditions, storage records, photos, and general knowledge of the equipment. Then we would provide a report to client detailing our findings and our opinion on whether this equipment could be utilized as planned.
Experience: We have reviewed one desalination plant and a number of other proposed desalination plants, due to the large need for power.
Role: We supported the evaluation of the power/desalination project together as a whole. This includes the incorporation of the power generation plant in conjunction with the desalination equipment. A key aspect to our review is the O&M for the total project to evaluate staffing and maintenance plans for both the power plant and the desalination plant.
Experience: Our personnel provided expert witness services on two separate fuel cell projects, one with a capacity of 1.4MW and the other with a capacity of 2.8MW. Additionally, we have reviewed the various technologies of other fuel cell technologies.
Role: Our testimony was supporting the US Treasury over litigation on the American Recovery Act. While, these cases utilized a fuel cell to generate power, the crux of the case was more relative to the fuel to the fuel cells. However, putting the operation of fuel cells in lay terms to assist the judge and legal counsel in the case.
Experience: We have reviewed a number of biosolids projects. Biosolids (aka raw sewage) contains a significant amount of energy, however, extracting this energy is not easy. We have reviewed a number of proposed projects utilizing different methods for using biosolids to generate energy.
Role: Biosolids projects have historically been more of a fatal flaw review, where it is our job to point out technical risks that may prevent the commercial application of the specified technologies. Dealing with biosolids is likened to handling peanut butter, but far less pleasant.
Experience: We have worked on numerous nuclear facilities in performing controls upgrades. From an IE perspective, we have helped to review potential capital projects.
Role: With the aging nuclear fleet, there are a number of opportunities for growth. One area of evaluation is the potential for "micro-nukes" for island grid applications.
Gray Market Equipment