How a Seasoned Renewable Developer Alleviated Development Pain Points With Transect
by Transect Team, on May 13, 2021
Managing environmental risk as early as possible in the development process is crucial for project success. Most developers have struggled to get the data and insight they need without playing the waiting game, breaking the bank, missing out on crucial information, and wasting valuable due diligence time.
Transect CEO and Co-founder Robin Laine got a chance to speak with Chris Melley, a 20+ year energy developer, to discuss how Transect has transformed his development process by alleviating the traditional development pain points. Let's jump into the interview below.
Robin Laine: How did you find out about Transect?
Chris Melley: When I was working with Origis Energy, they used Transect, and I got my first experience with the platform. I was blown away by what I saw in my first report.
RL: What kind of pain points did Transect help alleviate? Time, money, effort, etc.? How are things different from before using Transect to now?
CM: The information you folks can compile concisely and accurately uses to take multiple agreements with multiple contractors. I've developed in a large organization as well as in a smaller start-up. With a larger organization, it was a matrix environment, so we would have environmental specialists. Still, it was getting time on their calendar, getting the use of their resources, getting our calendars to sync up, getting the report back, getting them to help you evaluate what this means, how potentially serious this flag could be, etc.
In a smaller organization where they don't have environmental consultants on staff, you're going out and hiring 3rd party consultants for that - there are costs associated with that and time in getting the information. You're competing with their other clients for their time to get reports turned around and get things back to you. It's a lot of waiting.
With Transect, you can see all the information you need all in one place. Early on, having the ability to identify what potential hurdles we have to go through is a significant benefit. You may decide that it makes sense to go for the project or that the risk is too great.
RL: Do you feel like the value of Transect makes sense as a new way versus the old way?
CM: Definitely. Transect lets you look at a lot and evaluate more properties than you usually would very quickly.
If you have a fatal flaw, you will discover that early on without having to get information compiled and sent outside to a third party or someone else in your organization to wait a week, ten days, two weeks, etc. and hear, "No, this is never going to work."
RL: What Transect features did you like or rely on the most?
CM: I'm going to say the protected species data because when you're developing wind farms, you encounter so many challenges, whether it's the sage grouse, warblers, gray bats, etc. There's a whole host of things out there. You're trying to build renewable resources and serve the environment, but at the same time, everything you do has to coexist with existing wildlife. So early on, you could make part of your planning for that.
RL: Have you showed a Transect Report to outside investors? Do they trust it? Do you trust it?
CM: At one of the firms I was working with, we looked at due diligence for acquisitions. In those cases, we had multiple outside consultants pulling report information, and it was very closely aligned with the information Transect provided in one location. That confirmed for us that Transect was hitting all of these critical issues and identifying them.
RL: What sort of companies might be interested in using Transect?
CM: I think anyone involved in the energy development business, whether you're doing traditional oil or gas or if you're doing wind and solar. For both large scale and small scale generation sites, you need to be going into an area and verify that if we are going to be scraping the ground in some near commercial area that hasn't been touched before do you want to make sure that you've gone through all of your reviews.
Commercial and residential real estate developers have also looked at it and said that it makes sense to help them find things. There was a real estate professional I was working with; she was blown away by what she saw.
RL: What would you say to someone that is thinking about getting a Transect subscription?
CM: Run your first report – look at the results, look at the level of detail you get from it. If something has been flagged for an environmental reason, you can see the exact regulation it's referring to. You can also see potential mitigation strategies that may make you think maybe this isn't a showstopper. Maybe there's something that can be done to help where we can still work with it.
The first report will do it for you. You'll see the results, and you'll appreciate the level of detail that you're looking at!
Run your first Transect Report (for free!) today to see how Chris Melley and other developers have saved time and money while making environmental due diligence easy with the Transect platform.