Utility-Scale Energy Asset Valuation, Boulder City, Nevada

in 2020, Optony worked with the Special Projects Manager at Boulder City, Nevada to explore alternative leasing arrangements and business models for utility-scale energy assets on municipal land that maximize value for the City. Since Boulder City has its own municipal utility, a particular area of interest is the provision of firm power (using solar + storage or hydrogen fuel cells), as part of a lease to construct a new power plant, to the City in order to offset peak load, satisfy resource adequacy requirements and reduce the cost of electricity. To assess the expected value of this arrangement, Optony modeled the operating characteristics of various proposed solar + storage projects to determine the value that a given system size can provide to Boulder City’s electrical system through the avoided cost of market power and satisfaction of resource adequacy requirements. Optony also performed a detailed review of historical and expected future production, based on hydrological cycles, of the hydroelectric assets that Boulder City currently receives power from (e.g. Hoover Dam). This analysis helped to inform the risks inherent in the City’s current power supply portfolio and provide context to the value of diversifying this portfolio through solar + storage procurement.

Optony also assessed the potential value of alternative revenue sources for the City such as performance-based leases, a city-wide tax on the gross receipts of power plants and royalty-based agreements for transmission infrastructure.