Unilever launches first solar plant with CrossBoundary Energy

The solar PV panels are installed on a rotating mounting structure that tracks the movement of the sun throughout the day, increasing the plant’s power output by 20%. It is the largest commercial single-axis tracking installation in Kenya to date. Solarcentury East Africa managed engineering, procurement, and construction of this unique project, which employed 40 workers, including 6 women.

Unilever unveils new solar plant to explore renewable energy solutions

CrossBoundary Energy sells power from the solar plant to Unilever via an innovative 15-year power purchase agreement. Only now that the system’s installation and testing is complete will Unilever begin paying for solar electricity, and CrossBoundary Energy will continue to manage and finance future project operations, maintenance, monitoring, and insurance.

CrossBoundary Energy’s newest solar plant for Unilever

Access to reliable, affordable energy is one of the biggest constraints to business growth in Africa. CrossBoundary is supporting the continent’s leading brands like Unilever to adopt solar solutions across their operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. CrossBoundary Energy now operates 1.5MW of solar capacity in Kenya with a larger portfolio of over 30MW across Ghana, Rwanda, and Nigeria.

Unilever Tea on Path to 100% Renewables with CrossBoundary Energy Solar Plant

Monday, May 27, 2019 …Unilever Tea Kenya and CrossBoundary Energy are commissioning a 619 kWp solar plant today at the company’s Kericho tea factory. This is the first on-site solar installation for a Unilever facility in Sub-Saharan Africa, and it brings the company closer to its goal of sourcing 100% of total energy from renewables by 2030.

With the addition of solar PV to its existing hydroelectric and biomass resources, over 90% of Unilever Tea Kenya’s energy needs will now be met with clean energy. At the same time, Unilever will save money on its electricity costs.

CrossBoundary Energy sells power from the solar plant to Unilever via an innovative 15-year power purchase agreement. Only now that the system’s installation and testing is complete will Unilever begin paying for solar electricity, and CrossBoundary Energy will continue to manage and finance future project operations, maintenance, monitoring, and insurance. Unilever pays monthly, discounted solar electricity bills while remaining protected from the technical and operational risks of operating a solar project for the long-term.

Sylvia ten Den, Managing Director of Unilever Tea Kenya, says, “Installation of solar power at our Kericho operations delivers on our commitment to reduce our environmental footprint. By reducing the use of energy, raw materials and natural resources, we create efficiencies and cut costs, while becoming less exposed to price volatility. Besides being more cost-efficient this will save 10,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 15 years.”

Femi Fadugba, Head of Business Development for CrossBoundary Energy, says, “Access to reliable, affordable energy is one of the biggest constraints to business growth in Africa. CrossBoundary is supporting the continent’s leading brands like Unilever to adopt solar solutions across their operations in Sub-Saharan Africa. CrossBoundary Energy now operates 1.5MW of solar capacity in Kenya with a larger portfolio of over 30MW across Ghana, Rwanda, and Nigeria.”

In Kericho, the solar PV panels are installed on a rotating mounting structure that tracks the movement of the sun throughout the day, increasing the plant’s power output by 20%. It is the largest commercial single-axis tracking installation in Kenya to date. Solarcentury East Africa managed engineering, procurement, and construction of this unique project, which employed 40 workers, including 6 women.

Roberto Martin, Director of Solarcentury East Africa, says, “We were delighted to work with CrossBoundary Energy to deliver this first solar plant for Unilever in Africa, which also represents a landmark solar tracker installation in Kenya. It’s exciting to see multinationals committed to the RE100 pledge like Unilever, implementing ground-breaking projects such as this tracker PV plant. With each project we build we are not only fighting climate change, but creating jobs for young adults and women.”

 

ENDS

Commercial enquiries for CrossBoundary Energy: Femi Fadugba, energy@crossboundary.com

Media enquiries for CrossBoundary Energy: Anne Njoroge, anjoroge@levanterafrica.com ,+254 712 238 589

Media enquiries for Unilever Tea Kenya: Patrick.muchiri@unilever.com , +254 725 064 149

Media enquiries for Solarcentury East Africa: east.africa@solarcentury.com , +254 705 957 684

 

About CrossBoundary Energy www.crossboundaryenergy.com

Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner power for business.

CrossBoundary Energy is Sub-Saharan Africa’s first and largest owner and operator of solar for businesses. CBE’s PPA financing allows businesses to adopt solar energy at no upfront cost and themselves on the path to energy savings, business growth, and a lower carbon footprint. CrossBoundary Energy has signed the first commercial solar PPAs in Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Nigeria. Our portfolio consists of 30MW of solar projects awarded, in operation, or under construction and is the largest portfolio of African distributed solar outside of South Africa. CrossBoundary Energy is one of The CrossBoundary Group’s direct investment platforms.

About Unilever Tea Kenya

Unilever is one of the leading tea exporting companies in Kenya and has been growing tea since 1924. Its tea estates cover over 8,000 hectares and are Rainforest Alliance certified. With about 16,000 employees, Unilever is one of the largest private employers in the region. It is working towards building a sustainable business that cares for its environment and creates positive social impact by improving the livelihoods of communities. Its tea portfolio includes key world’s renowned brands, like Lipton and PG tips.

Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan underpins the company’s strategy and commits to:

  •  Helping more than a billion people take action to improve their health and well-being by 2020.

  • Halving the environmental impact of our products by 2030.

  • Enhancing the livelihoods of millions of people by 2020.

The USLP creates value by driving growth and trust, eliminating costs and reducing risks. The company’s sustainable living brands are growing 50% faster than the rest of the business and delivered more than 60% of the company’s growth in 2016.

Unilever was ranked number one in its sector in the 2017 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the FTSE4Good Index, it achieved the highest environmental score of 5. It led the list of Global Corporate Sustainability Leaders in the 2017 GlobeScan/SustainAbility annual survey for the seventh year running. Unilever has pledged to become carbon positive in its operations by 2030.

For more information about Unilever and its brands, please visit www.unilever.com. For more information on the USLP: www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/

 

About Solarcentury East Africa

Established in 1998, Solarcentury is a global integrated solar power company, and a leader in the development and operation of solar projects and smart energy technology at all scales, across Europe, Latin America and Africa. Independent and headquartered in the UK, Solarcentury is known internationally for developing and building some of the largest solar farms in the UK, Netherlands, Spain, Kenya and Mexico. From homes and commercial rooftops to utility-scale, Solarcentury is making a meaningful difference in the fight against climate change by increasing the accessibility and production of solar power across the world. Over the past 20 years, Solarcentury’s solar projects have generated over 3.5 billion kWh of clean electricity and saved over 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Find more information on the company at www.solarcentury.com.

 

 

 

Nigerian Breweries Pioneers First Solar Powered Brewery in Africa

Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB) and CrossBoundary Energy are today announcing the signing of Heineken’s first solar project in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy will be installing and operating a 650 kW solar plant located at NB’s Ibadan Brewery, which will be operational in 2019.

The landmark project is the first of its kind for Nigeria – a fully-financed solar Power Purchase Agreement for a major Nigerian business customer. CrossBoundary Energy will operate the rooftop facility on behalf of Nigerian Breweries as part of a 15-year solar services agreement. Under the agreement, NB will only pay for solar power produced, receiving a single monthly bill that incorporates all maintenance, monitoring, insurance and financing costs.

The solar plant will supply 1GWh annually to the Ibadan brewery at a significant discount to their current cost of power, while reducing the site’s CO2 emissions by over 10,000 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.

Jordi Borrut Bel, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc stated “We are delighted to be a pioneer in the adoption of solar energy in Nigeria. The solar plant will help power our world-class brewery in Ibadan, enabling us to deliver on commitments under our ‘Brewing a Better World’ initiatives and supporting Heineken’s global ‘Drop the C’ programme for renewable energy.”

Heineken’s Drop the C programme for renewable energy aims to grow its share of production-related energy sourced from renewables from the current level of 14% to 70% by 2030. “NB’s Brewing a Better World initiative has further targeted a 40% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030”, according to Martin Kochl, Supply Chain Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc.

Femi Fadugba, Head of Business Development for CrossBoundary Energy said: “We’re excited to be helping Nigerian Breweries go solar and to be providing the site with cleaner, cheaper power with no upfront investment or technical risk. I’m also proud that this flagship project – the first of its kind in Nigeria – will be launched in my family’s hometown of Ibadan.”

CrossBoundary Energy has commissioned TPN to design and build the plant as well as performing operations and maintenance immediately after commissioning. Ruud van Milligen, General Manager for TPN said: “We are grateful that we, as an Energy Solutions partner for Nigerian Breweries, and CrossBoundary Energy can contribute to the renewable goals of Nigerian Breweries with our custom-made energy solutions and best-in-class operations and maintenance operations.”

The plant will support the local employment of at least a dozen engineering, construction and maintenance professionals during installation and the 25+ year lifetime of the system, while supporting the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s (NERC) target of having 2,000MW of power capacity from renewables by 2020. Through financing packages like the one being offered by CrossBoundary Energy, Nigeria’s renewable energy sector can provide much-needed green jobs, tap global capital, improve access to affordable, reliable power for businesses, and enable Nigeria to fulfil its enormous economic potential. Support for the project has come from Shell Foundation and the Solar Nigeria programme, an initiative implemented by Adam Smith International with funding from UK Aid.

END

Media & commercial enquiries for CrossBoundary Energy: Femi Fadugba, energy@crossboundary.com

Media enquiries for Nigerian Breweries: Patrick.Olowokere@heineken.com

Media enquiries for TPN: Ruud van Milligen, ruud.van.milligen@pon.com

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About CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) – www.crossboundaryenergy.com

CrossBoundary Energy is Africa’s first and largest operator of financed solar solutions for businesses. CBE’s solar financing allows businesses to buy solar power with no upfront cash or maintenance requirements, putting your company on the path to energy savings, growth, and a lower carbon footprint. CrossBoundary Energy has signed the first commercial and industrial solar PPAs in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda. It now has over 30MW of projects currently in operation, awarded or under construction – the largest portfolio of these assets in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy is part of the CrossBoundary Group.

About Nigerian Breweries – www.nbplc.com

Nigerian Breweries Plc is Nigeria’s pioneer and leading brewing company. Incorporated in 1946, the company has grown from its first brewery in Lagos in 1949, to its present footprint of 11 breweries, 2 Malting Plants and several depots spread across Nigeria. Nigerian Breweries produces and markets the brands Star, Gulder, Heineken, Legend, Maltina, Amstel Malta, Goldberg, Life, 33 Export, Tiger, Fayrouz, More, Climax, Williams Ale, Hi Malt, Strong bow and Malta Gold. Brewing a Better World is Nigerian Breweries’ long term approach to creating shared, sustainable value for all stakeholders; The Company, the society and the planet. It focuses on 6 core elements; Every Drop - Protecting Water Resources, Drop the C – reducing CO2 emissions, Promoting health and safety, Advocating responsible consumption, Sourcing sustainably and Growing with communities.

About Topec Nigeria (TPN) – www.TPN-Nigeria.com

Topec Nigeria (TPN) specialises in engineering turnkey energy solutions. Whether it’s setting up solar power or battery systems, assembling generators, producing control and distribution panels, general equipment testing, or operations and maintenance for your plant, we do it all and under one roof. Whatever your requirements: "Our energy keeps your running.”

Kasapreko Company Limited and CrossBoundary Energy Ghana complete commissioning of 400KWp Solar Plant

Kasapreko Company Limited (Kasapreko), CrossBoundary Energy Ghana Limited (CBE Ghana), and Yingli Namene West Africa Limited (Yingli Namene) are today announcing the completion of commissioning of Kasapreko’s 400.4 KWp solar plant located at Kasapreko’s Spintex Road bottling facility.

The installation is Ghana’s first PPA-financed solar plant for a commercial customer. CrossBoundary Energy Ghana, the first licensed PPA operator to finance distributed solar for Ghanaian businesses, will operate the rooftop facility on behalf of Kasapreko as part of a long term solar services agreement. Under the agreement, Kasapreko will only pay for solar power produced, receiving a single monthly bill that incorporates all maintenance, monitoring, insurance and financing costs.

Yingli Namene originated the solar project opportunity with Kasapreko and together with SolarAfrica led design, procurement, and construction of the plant. CBE Ghana has retained Yingli Namene to continue provision of operations and maintenance services for the solar facility in its first year, with SolarAfrica responsible for asset management and performance monitoring.

The solar plant will supply 570,570 kWh annually to support the needs of the bottling facility and help to displace power supplied by diesel generators at the height of the day. Solar will also allow Kasapreko to reduce its carbon emissions by over 4,600 tonnes over the lifespan of the plant.

Richard Adjei, CEO of Kasapreko Company Limited says, “Our company produces first-class beverages using authentic traditional blends and world-class technology. CrossBoundary Energy Ghana will supply renewable power to our largest industrial facility, allowing us to focus on serving our customers and shareholders, as well as helping our environment.”

Femi Fadugba, Head of Business Development at CrossBoundary Energy Ghana says, “Kasapreko is one of Ghana’s most successful home-grown companies, whose fully modernized operations are best-in-class. CBE Ghana’s solar solution supplies the company with clean power at a discount to current energy costs, and our financing eliminated the need for any upfront spending by Kasapreko. We are pleased to support Kasapreko’s continued growth and success in Ghana through this landmark solar project.”

The plant has supported employment of 23 engineering and construction professionals in Ghana during its installation phase, and Yingli Namene’s local team, based in Accra, will continue to service the solar plant during its operation.

“Yingli Namene has been present in the Ghanaian market since the incorporation of Yingli Namene West Africa in 2015, with a mission to bring solar power to the West African market and maximise its abundant solar resource”, says Firmin Nkamleu Ngassam, Managing Director of Yingli Namene West Africa. “We are delighted to have played a critical role in delivering this solar installation for a valued customer like Kasapreko. CBE Ghana’s fully-financed solution was a key enabler of the project, and we look forward to continued work together to fully supply Kasapreko’s solar energy needs.”

The PV system has been designed to optimally integrate with Kasapreko’s existing power sources and can be expanded to supply Kasapreko with additional solar power as the company grows.

Across Sub-Saharan Africa, access to reliable, affordable electricity has been identified as one of the greatest obstacles to growth. Even though the cost of solar power continues to fall, enterprises on the continent lag their global peers in taking up solar due to the high upfront cost of purchase and the technical challenge of owning and maintaining a solar power facility.

In 2011, Ghana’s Renewable Energy Act was enacted to fast track the development of renewable energy sources and increase the contribution of renewable energy in the economy to 10%. By harnessing the power of global capital, Ghana’s renewable energy sector is evolving into a significant contributor to the economy, supporting local jobs and improving power costs for industrial enterprises.

END

Commercial enquiries for CBE Ghana: Femi Fadugba, energy@crossboundary.com

Media enquiries for CBE Ghana: Donald Ouma, douma@levanterafrica.com

Media enquiries for Kasapreko Company: Gerald Bonsu, gerald.bonsu@kasapreko.com

Media enquiries for Yingli Namene West Africa: Carolin Stähler, media@yinglinamene.com

Media enquiries for SolarAfrica, Bianca Swanepoel or Candice Link, marketing@solarafrica.com, +27 87 095 0553

About CrossBoundary Energy www.crossboundaryenergy.com

Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner power for business.

CrossBoundary Energy is Sub-Saharan Africa’s first and largest owner and operator of solar for businesses. Our solar financing allows you to buy solar power with zero capex and put your company on the path to energy savings, business growth, and a lower carbon footprint. CrossBoundary Energy has signed the first commercial and industrial solar PPAs in Ghana, Kenya and Rwanda. It now has over 30MW of projects awarded, in operation, or under construction, the largest portfolio of these assets in Sub-Saharan Africa. CrossBoundary Energy is one of The CrossBoundary Group’s direct investment platforms.

About Kasapreko Company www.kasapreko.com

The 2017 AGI Ghana Industry & Quality Awards Winners for the beverage sector

About Yingli Namene West Africa https://www.yinglinamene.com/en

Yingli Namene Solar is an international Solar PV developer, with a strong focus toward both on and off-grid energy solutions in Sub Sahara Africa. Yingli Namene West Africa is a subsidiary of Yingli Namene Solar located in Ghana bringing affordable and reliable solar power to businesses and communities in West Africa by developing both ground mount and commercial roof-top projects, and utility-scale solar PV parks in the region.

About SolarAfrica www.solarafrica.com

We believe there’s a much smarter way to power our planet, today. We shake up the renewable energy space by offering affordable clean energy solutions for our customers. By providing a solar energy alternative to existing grid energy, we make switching to a clean energy solution easy, with monthly savings. Founded in 2011, our solar solutions are tailored for industrial, commercial and residential energy users. We fund and own the solar system to provide cheaper energy – no capital spend required.

CrossBoundary Energy featured in the PV-Magazine

We finance, build, own and operate captive solar systems for clients across Africa. Our clients are leading multinational and local companies looking for affordable, reliable energy solutions that will also help them meet their Sustainable Development Goals commitments. We have over 25 MW of projects in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana that prove it is now possible to make commercially viable commitments to solar energy in Africa.

OPIC $6 million debt facility to CrossBoundary Energy covered by the Business Daily

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation has recognised our investment platform for commercial and industrial solar in Sub-Saharan Africa, CrossBoundary Energy, as a pioneer in the provision of solar energy across the continent. The debt financing from OPIC, allows us to extend the provision of affordable, cleaner and more reliable energy across Sub-Saharan Africa and bolster the mission of Power Africa.

Kathleen Jean-Pierre recently featured at the African Infrastructure Forum

Kathleen Jean-Pierre, our Energy Vision & Delivery Lead, joined the Raising Off-Grid Equity session at the Africa Infrastructure Forum's Power & Renewables Meeting Africa last week. She and Ben Good of Energy 4 Impact shared insights from our Mini-Grid Innovation Lab and reflected on financing trends in the off-grid sector. It was a loaded panel, also featuring Laura Sundblad of GOGLA, Ogbemi Ofuya of Helios Investment Partners, Dr. Nii Darko Asante from the Ghana Energy Commission, Alex Katon of InfraCo Africa, and Raphael Tilot of ENGIE – Africa.

OPIC commits $6 million in financing to CrossBoundary Energy’s Commercial and Industrial Solar portfolio

 

Nairobi, Washington DC

The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed $6 million in debt financing to CrossBoundary Energy, Sub Saharan Africa’s first investment fund for commercial and industrial solar.

 

CrossBoundary Energy provides solar power to African enterprises. Clients sign long term power purchase agreements to purchase solar electricity without contributing upfront investment or taking technical risk on construction and maintenance. CrossBoundary Energy finances, builds, owns and operates the captive solar system for the client. The client receives cheaper and cleaner electricity.

 

OPIC’s commitment will contribute to the funding of six captive solar PV projects currently under construction or development by CrossBoundary Energy. The projects total over 5.75 megawatts of capacity, and are located in Kenya, Rwanda, and Ghana. The clients are leading multinational and local companies.

 

“CrossBoundary Energy has been the pioneer in providing solar energy directly to commercial and industrial businesses in Africa, said OPIC President and CEO, Ray W. Washburne. “We’re pleased to be supporting them to expand the provision of cleaner and cheaper power that helps African enterprises grow and bolsters the mission of Power Africa.”

 

CrossBoundary Energy was established in 2015 as the first investment platform dedicated to the financing of captive commercial and industrial (C&I) solar PV projects in Africa. CrossBoundary Energy now has over 28.8 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded – the largest portfolio of such assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

“A lack of reliable and affordable power is holding back private sector-led development in manufacturing and other large industries in Africa,” says CrossBoundary Group co-Managing Partner, Matthew Tilleard.  “This commitment from OPIC provides us with additional, affordable financing that in turn allows companies across Sub-Saharan Africa to benefit from affordable solar that delivers energy savings, business growth and a lower carbon footprint.”

 

Jake Cusack, co-Managing Partner of the CrossBoundary Group, added that “by offering Power Purchase Agreements, CrossBoundary Energy takes complete responsibility for project financing, delivery, and management of technical risk of the solar project. During the contract term, we can also provide storage, energy efficiency, and electricity generation upgrades for our clients, ensuring businesses maintain fully-optimized energy systems to fuel their long-term growth.” He noted that “OPIC’s commitment will assist with financing an important part of CrossBoundary Energy’s current portfolio as it continues to build out its commercial pipeline across Sub-Saharan Africa.”

 

OPIC has been a longstanding partner of CrossBoundary Energy, having provided a grant in 2014 through the U.S. Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative (ACEF) to support the establishment of CrossBoundary Energy.

 

About The CrossBoundary Group

 

The CrossBoundary Group’s mission is to unlock capital to drive sustainable growth in developing and frontier markets.

 

CrossBoundary Advisory provides a range of investment due diligence and transaction services. It has advised on over US$450 million of closed transactions across a range of sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and in frontier markets globally.

 

CrossBoundary Energy was launched in 2015 and is Sub-Saharan Africa's first investment platform for commercial and industrial solar. It provides solar electricity to African enterprises, through fully-financed Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs). CrossBoundary Energy now has over 28.8 MWp of C&I projects under operation, construction or awarded; the largest portfolio of this class of assets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

 

In total, the CrossBoundary Group has a team of over 50 people located at offices in Bamako, Johannesburg, Lagos, Nairobi, Dubai, New York and Washington, D.C.

 

Kathleen Jean-Pierre featured at Convergence Blended Finance Knowledge Session

During today’s knowledge exchange on blended finance, Kathleen Jean-Pierre, our Energy Vision and Delivery, presented as part of a panel with Duncan Onyango, Team Leader & Investment Lead at Sustainable Urban Economic Development Programme (SUED), Lilian Mramba, Regional Director for Africa, Grassroots Business Fund, and Njeri Kirumbi, Senior Investment Officer, BlueOrchard Finance Ltd. Ladé Araba, Africa Region Representative at Convergence Blended Finance moderated the session. The panel used case studies to show how blended finance can be used to deliver competitive returns and help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

CrossBoundary co-hosts an event with Convergence Blended Finance

We were pleased to co-host an event on Blended Finance at our Nairobi office last week, with Convergence Blended Finance, the global network for blended finance. We could not have done it without our co-host, Ladé Araba, Africa Region Representative at Convergence Blended Finance. It was great to see the platform they are building, learn about the latest developments and trends in blended finance and network with like-minded individuals and organizations.

James Shoetan featured on a panel at AIX Nairobi Power & Renewables Executive Briefing

James Shoetan, our East Africa Business Development Manager, was on a panel at the AIX Nairobi Power & Renewables Executive Briefing with Elijah Isabu, Sunref, Kenya Association of Manufacturers; Andrew Githaiga, SunFunder; Mutuma Marangu, Advisor & Private Investor and Ameet Shah, Astonfield Renewables. Chaired by Jon Marks, Cross-border Information, the panel analysed how commercial and industrial consumers across Africa are developing and financing their own generation capacity and its likely growth.

Kathleen Jean-Pierre featured on the Bloomberg NEF Summit

Kathleen Jean-Pierre, Vision & Delivery Lead, CrossBoundary Energy was on a panel at the Bloomberg NEF Summit telling the audience about our 30MW African Commercial and Industrial Solar pipeline.  Simbarashe Mhuriro, Oxygen Africa, Chris Weston, Aggreko, Charlotte Aubin, GreenWish Partners and Antoine Prédour, responsAbility Investments AG were also panellists. Takehiro Kawahara, Bloomberg NEF, moderated

Richard Stanford at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre

Richard Stanford our Senior Engineer was invited to present at the Strathmore Energy Research Centre to a group of fourteen, that were undergoing training to obtain their T3 Grid-Tie Solar License.  He discussed CrossBoundary Energy’s activities in Africa’s Commercial & Industrial solar sector, and also took them through some of the key technical focus areas of early stage project development.