Challenges in renewable energy

Renewable power via wind and solar combined with enabling technologies, like energy storage and expanded power transmission, is anticipated to be the dominate form of electricity generation in the coming decades, supplying up to two-thirds of global electricity demand by 2050. This represents a critical element in achieving the world’s decarbonization and electrification goals in the global battle against climate change.

On balance, renewable projects have gained social license and acceptance as an important and necessary element of communities’ sustainable futures, but the rapid expansion anticipated will create new challenges. To achieve these goals, an efficient and effective approach to renewable power development is needed, with consistent and integrated engagement between environmental practitioners, regulatory professionals, power system analysts, geotechnical teams, procurement and supply chain professionals, civil and electrical engineers, and construction managers. Once built, these assets must also be operated and managed as efficiently as possible to bring out their full potential and achieve their useful life expectations.

Our renewable power capabilities

Off-grid hybrid power solutions

Remote communities and industrial facilities want to reduce their reliance on liquid fuels such as oil and diesel, which can have unpredictable, volatile prices and risks to the environment. Wind and solar power offer clean alternatives that can be integrated into a remote energy mix. Improved methodologies, such as Hatch's proprietary microgrid controller technology, help integrate renewables and energy storage into remote grids.


Demand for emission-free forms of energy is strong. Costs for wind-generated power are continuing to decline, and installed capacity is growing globally at an exponential rate. Nonetheless, wind power projects are far from straightforward. For over twenty years, we have been supporting our clients in the development, approvals, engineering, implementation, and operations of wind farms. We can help from concept to commissioning.

Offshore Wind

Densely populated cities along the globe’s coastlines are working hard on the transition to a lower carbon generation mix. Offshore wind represents one of the cornerstone generation methods and a compelling solution for many regions of the world. However, the challenges of building large-scale power generation arrays comprised of ever-larger turbines within busy coastal environments are many. Our expert teams can support you in all matters, including environmental permitting and approvals, economic impacts and social license, master planning, port development, supply chain, procurement and logistics, HVDC power interconnection, system studies and integration, and project management.


Efforts to address climate change are spurring heavy investment in renewable energy all around the world. Solar power is leading the charge and opening up new opportunities for developers, corporations, and investors alike. Innovation in all aspects of the industry, from technology and design to project delivery and financing, are driving down costs.

You need the value that comes from having sound advice, optimized designs, and cost-efficient facilities. We can help across the entire project life cycle, from development to engineering, construction, operations, and asset management. Our work spans the spectrum, from remote communities needing a few hundred kilowatt-hours to gigawatt-scale projects that can potentially power continents.

While the biggest uptake for generation for solar energy resource is in photovoltaics (PV), Hatch also has proven expertise in solar thermal systems, from non-concentrating collector systems for industrial applications to GW-scale concentrating solar power (CSP) arrays for grid electricity and industrial process heat.

Energy storage

While potentially ubiquitous, wind and solar energy are intermittent in nature and as a result, require other technologies as part of a complete energy solution, including Energy Storage Systems. Presently, lithium-ion battery deployments are experiencing exponential uptake, while other technologies such as well-proven pumped hydro or compressed air storage technologies are potential options for long duration energy storage.

Numerous other technologies are moving up the technology maturity ladder; flow batteries, for example, are becoming increasingly practical for longer duration energy storage applications. They and others are currently positioned as key enablers to achieving a future where electricity is predominantly derived from low-carbon technologies. While utility grid-scale solutions are highly impactful, the increasing drive to reduce fossil fuel consumption, use local resources, increase resiliency, and improve lives via reliable electricity generation at smaller, more remote sites and communities can also be enabled through energy storage systems.

Owner’s Engineering

Timelines are tight, EPC margins are narrow, supply chains are challenged, and permitting has hurdles. These are just some of the reasons why you need a strong owner’s engineering team. Hatch provides a complete range of services to support renewable power projects for developers and owners, covering the complete development cycle, from concept to construction and handover. We can augment your development team or be your development engineering team.

Energy resource assessments and site selection

Resource assessment is critical for the development of a successful wind or solar power project. The detailed evaluation of the wind regime or solar irradiation at a power project site enables accurate energy yields to be predicted and financial projections to be made.

We leverage our experience across a global range of climates, from the Camanchaca in the Atacama Desert to the extreme cold and snow of the Arctic Circle, to bring specialized knowledge about each region to our assessments and designs. Our roots in renewable power are in wind resource assessments, met towers and measurement campaigns since 2003. We are familiar with the many sources of data including satellite, ground station, and hybrid measurements needed to bring the greatest certainty to climate measurement, and the integration of that knowledge with project design. We utilize a combination of industry-leading and accepted analysis tools alongside in-house tools that we have been evolving and advancing for two decades.

When projects shift over from pre-construction to operational, all the expectations get crystalized into real world results. To analyze operating projects, our data scientists and engineers have the capability to break projects and data down to levels of detail that allow us to identify and isolate underperformance issues, and work with our clients to minimize losses, identify solutions, and improve operations.

With our staff distributed across five continents, we have experts available to provide local support to our clients wherever they may be located and bring a regional perspective to our global best practices. We provide individualized design and project concepts to each and every client, with an eye for best meeting their unique needs as developers, owners, investors, or operators at whatever stage in the project life cycle they approach us.

Forensic Services

As we have all been watching over the last few years, storms are getting stronger and more damaging than ever before. The advent of distributed, renewable power (wind and solar) has made these power generation assets a grid resiliency feature by lessening the dependence on the power grid. But, they are also susceptible to damage and destruction when they are in the path of a storm. We have been engineering and constructing power generation assets (and the transmission lines that move power) for close to 100 years.

When disaster strikes, we are here to help. In some cases, it’s as simple as replacing broken components, but in more severe disasters, the recovery plan may include redesigning and reengineering (due to technological changes, regulation changes, or economic changes).

Our clients include owners and insurance companies. When an independent view, root cause assessment, or expert witness is required, our renewables team can engage a broad spectrum of specialists to evaluate the failure. We offer specialized engineering services, and experts and knowledge in non-destructive testing (NDT), power electronics, engineered equipment, and data analytics, to name just a few.

Environmental assessments and management

To ensure a successful project, developers need a partner who can interface with regulatory agencies and facilitate the permitting processes. We work with you, conducting thorough environmental assessments using the latest techniques and technologies to cost-effectively collect data. Our teams are also adept at community engagement, communicating the costs and benefits of solar and wind projects to the public.

Design, engineering, procurement, and construction management

Successful project delivery depends on strict schedule oversight, tight scope management, effective project controls, and smart design options. We're experienced at putting all the pieces together in the right sequence, combining them to maximize quality while reducing risks and life cycle costs.

Independent engineering and lender’s technical advisor

Investors, lenders, and owners want the confidence that comes with knowing their projects are financially sound and technically viable. Hatch is recognized by leading financial. institutions around the world as a top-tier independent engineer and lender’s technical advisor. The Hatch brand name is recognized as a sterling, reliable brand for innovative solutions and leading-edge projects. We have an immense amount of experience helping developers obtain financing through our independent engineer services, encompassing a variety of prefeasibility, feasibility, and project implementation risk analyses.

As a full-service power engineering company on several continents, we are a one-stop shop for multi-technology and multi-jurisdiction project evaluations for financing and M&A. Whether your transaction includes wind, solar, hydro, thermal, storage, and transmission or just one of those, we are here to help and apply consistent analysis frameworks to the assets under evaluation.

Operational performance, useful life and repowering

We offer a full range of support for your renewable power projects after they reach operations. We can support your assets in all matters, from performance benchmarking and underperformance identification, to evaluation, validation, and verification of hardware and software upgrades. We have developed and utilized advanced analytic tools that go far beyond the operational dashboards to see what’s really going on inside ‘the black box’. Whether your company self-performs or relies on third-party or OEM-contracted operations and maintenance, we can help you get the most out of your assets.

As wind and solar assets age, the question invariably comes up: how much longer can we run this asset safely and economically? Hatch can support you via our full suite of inspection and analysis capabilities to determine remaining useful life, operational and safety risks, and to consider mitigations.

When does repowering make sense? The answer is complicated and depends on many factors, ranging from permit and approval matters, grid capacity, asset condition, remaining useful life, and the economic trade-offs between running and maintaining assets over the long term versus reinvesting to pick up the latest innovations in equipment performance and efficiencies. Hatch can help across that entire spectrum and can help you make smart decisions about your assets.

Asset Management

The first wave of renewables development was all about building new projects and creating power generation assets. In addition to developing new projects, most operators and IPPs are now focused on managing those assets to be cost effective and to produce power. Hatch is proud to offer a complete suite of services for asset and maintenance management to support generating assets throughout their lives.

Some of those pioneering wind and solar projects are now reaching critical points in their lives where decisions must be made about the future. To support those specific needs, our array of Asset Management services are also augmented by capabilities that are highly industry specific. This includes performance analysis, useful life assessments, life extension and repowering, and decommissioning assessments.


People - the hidden barrier to achieving net zero emissions

The renewable energy industry is on the cusp of a global supply crisis.  At the same time, the widespread accessibility to clean, sustainable, renewable energy is paving the way toward shaping a new energy landscape. Could shortages of vital equipment and key resources impede the transformation?

New dawn: The new circular net-zero age

The energy trilemma isn’t new within the industry, but more than ever the concept is now at the forefront of our planning and designs. Organizations are addressing the importance of providing energy that is equally reliable, sustainable, and affordable, and asking: how can we offer energy solutions that effectively address these criteria, and mitigate risk and concerns?

Repurposing coal-fired power plants: benefits and challenges

If we look at the current state of global environmental affairs, it’s starkly evident that humankind is missing its window of opportunity to build a sustainable, more resilient future.

Renewable energy in mining: A practical application for active operations

The 27-nation European Union (EU) is accelerating its transition to the net-zero era at an unprecedented rate. A mix of domestic and international factors have compelled the EU to expedite regulatory processes and laws to limit its energy dependencies.

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Related projects

Mesquite Solar 1 project by Hatch Raglan Rainy River Thunder Bay Hydro Solar Rooftop

Mesquite Solar 1
United States of America

Raglan Mine Integrated
Wind-Storage-Diesel Energy


Rainy River Solar

Thunder Bay solar projects

Click here to view all our Energy projects.

Technical papers

Lithium-ion Battery Technology Application for
Renewable Power Integration at Off-grid Mine

Author(s) M. Mitchell, M. Sedighy, M. Raoofat, N. Seguin,
R. Jolin, M.A. Dufour, J. Laroche

Prioritization of capital investments and a risk
mitigation approach to rehabilitation projects

Author(s) A. Bridgeman
Presented at the 51st annual H.G. Acres Seminar - May 28, 2020

A discussion on the evolution and application of
quantitative risk-informed dam safety decision

Author(s) R.C. Donnelly
Presented at the 51st annual H.G. Acres Seminar - May 28, 2020


All technical papers

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