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Land Analytics at Galehead

What is an efficient way to identify a good site for a renewable energy project? Galehead has been working on answering that question for the last couple of years.

Land Analytics at Galehead

Nearly 40 million parcels countrywide, 444 thousand in Massachusetts, 168 thousand in Eversource Territory. All have been analyzed by LandCommand™ to fuel targeted development campaigns.

What is an efficient way to identify a good site for a renewable energy project? Galehead has been working on answering that question for the last couple of years…. and we’re excited about the results.

Tell me more.

We founded Galehead based upon the hypothesis that we could improve project siting and project success rates by using data intelligently.  We knew that, by pursuing this hypothesis, we’d have the chance to work with great partners to help them achieve their pipeline objectives, and/or take project positions forward ourselves, depending upon the specific goals of a campaign.

How is Galehead’s process different?

Galehead built a land analytics tool, called LandCommand™, which is a custom-designed and proprietary land analytics platform that enables targeted project siting. LandCommand™ is a Python-based, cloud-hosted solution that has analyzed ~80% of the counties in the US and includes over 200 custom-built attributes that enable targeted siting. A few example attributes:

  • One set of attributes identifies the closest five substations to each parcel, to include the voltage and ownership information for that substation.
  • Another set of attributes relates to identifying the coverage, if any, of designated wetlands.
  • There are many more...

The attributes have all been structured in a way to enable live querying so we can identify prospective sites in real-time. These attributes have been appended to the ~40 million parcels analyzed… which covers 2.3 million square miles and counting.

This sounds interesting, but who cares?

Massachusetts is one of the most active solar markets in the country. The ‘SMART’ program– which is a state-sponsored initiative to support the development of solar energy - is structured around a 5 MW ac project size maximum, which roughly translates to a required 25 ‘buildable’ acres (smaller is acceptable, but we’ll keep this 25-acre minimum for now). There is a significant amount of focus on Eversource service territory given congestion in other utility markets. Additionally, you need a way to deliver the power to the grid – called a ‘point of interconnection’. So how do you translate those into siting guidelines?

Example set of guidelines:

  • Target a specific utility service territory
  • Input an acceptable range to a potential point of interconnection
  • Add land constraints to identify parcels with >25 usable acres

The results: a few hundred parcels (<0.07% of all parcels in MA) that are suited for hosting a 5 MW ac project. Take a look below*....

Zooming in a bit*...

Importantly, Galehead has deployed this process across the country.

Galehead’s approach:

  • Assimilate: bring all data together, including any state-specific constraints layers
  • Aggregate: standardize, consolidate, and append proprietary calculations
  • Analyze: identify prospects that meet custom development guidelines
  • Engage: Galehead has one of the best commercial teams in the business… We’ve executed hundreds of land agreements to-date on sites identified by LandCommand™.

We have existing projects – and active campaigns – to generate great projects that will provide sustainable energy for decades.

Anything else?

Galehead has been building up capabilities to support wind project origination and additional infrastructure projects moving forward. Contact us to learn more about some of the projects we are working on.

Thanks for reading.

*Images are representative.

Land Analytics at Galehead

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