The Client and Locale
Client: Someone who pays for goods or services.
Locale: A place where something happens.
In the case of your project, you will be required to identify exactly who is going to pay for the energy that your project is going to produce. This “who” can be many different people or entities, but determining this upfront will be very important. For example, we could have a client be a residential customer installing a solar rooftop, a large commercial building upgrading its HVAC system, a big box retail customer wanting to “green up” its energy purchases, a large manufacturer who wants to install a combined heat and power system or a government agency who wants to take advantage of latent energy in its wastewater system to provide heat to district energy. The possibilities are really quite broad for defining your client.
Client definition is important though because the client will be the entity paying for the energy that is generated (saved) from your project. This may be different than the actual end-user of the energy and it is important to make sure that the client’s requirements are kept utmost in mind for the greatest success of the project.
The course is designed so that the student can be very creative with respect to client selection. There will not be specific prohibitions on client selection, however, the knowledge base of the evaluator is limited and the further the student strays from conventional technologies as well as political and economic regimes that are familiar, the more difficult will it be for there to be accurate feedback and evaluation. Innovation is encouraged, but please be ready to defend and justify your assumptions and parameters.
The locale is the “where.” But the “where” has many characteristics. For example:
- The geography
- The demography
- The locale economy
- The local, state and federal policy, government and attitude toward energy projects
- The general suypply chain including labor, transportation availability of energy
- The local and regional energy market and infrastructure
This is not an extensive list, but gives one a general idea of what will need to be researched to develop your project.