In Chip and Dan Heath’s new book, Decisive: How to Make Better Choices in Life and Work , they discuss the concept of a Playlist as a way to generate ideas and widen our frame for better decision making. A Playlist is a list of things that have been effective before in other situations and provides a reminder of what options we have and helps us to think more broadly.
One of the chief problems with our decision making process is our tendency to consider too few options and to engage in EITHER/OR thinking. We don’t consider different approaches. Either the project works or it doesn’t.
This does NOT mean you can turn a Zombie Project into a good project but often a project that is on the line can be moved to the positive side of the ledger.
My thoughts on a Solar Project Playlist:
Solar Project Playlist:
- Reduce installed cost
- Negotiate better panel, inverter, racking prices
- Negotiate better labor costs
- Reduce finance costs
- Negotiate with lawyer for reduced rate
- Use pre-made contract templates
- Reduce developer fees
- Increase output of array
- Increase Array-to-Inverter ratio
- Adjust tilt angle
- Resize system
- Make sure depreciation is being used
- Bundle with efficiency services
- Bundle with retail electric supply
- PACE financing
- New Market Tax Credits
- Adjust PPA escalator
- Adjust PPA price
- Adjust PPA Term
- Adjust PPA buyout options
- Examine state and local incentives closely
- Group multiple projects together for economies of scale
- Credit enhancers
- Loan guarantees
None of these things is a silver bullet, but having a consistent list of options to walk through we are able to think more broadly about the project and perhaps think of things we hadn’t been considering.
What things would you add to this list?