Ray Alcorn

Ray Alcorn - Exceedence

What is your idea?

We have developed a purpose-built financial and technical software tool that makes it easy to model and optimise projects in the renewable energy sector and assess whether they will make or lose money.

Our software allows everyone in the supply chain on the project – developers, service providers and suppliers, engineers, funders and utilities – to work off the same page, and it offers a transparent, integrated view of the plan.

What problem are you solving and what is innovative about your approach?

Current approaches for financial modelling in renewables projects tend to be costly, and they do not effectively accommodate the ‘big picture’ of the plan.

Planning a renewables project – perhaps a new wind farm or wave-energy initiative – often involves hiring someone to carry out financial modelling, or consulting a large management company at a considerable cost.

We have developed software that allows transparent input across the supply chain and a ‘helicopter view’ of the model.

Our tool, which uses international standards, allows projects to be more thoroughly analysed: it means risks can be more effectively identified and addressed and it means projects can be optimised at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods.

What’s the backstory here and how did you get involved?

My background is in engineering and I worked in the renewables sector in Australia before leading a research centre at University College Cork. In UCC we could see that the renewables industry was using a range of different approaches for financial modelling, and that many of the resulting models were not credible.

We looked to address this with a software tool that gets everyone on the same playing field, that everybody along the supply chain can adopt.

With support from Enterprise Ireland’s commercialisation fund we hired software developers and built a prototype, which we then tested and developed as a product.

Our software tool can work across 21 different currencies – meaning for example that you could compare a wind project in Malaysia with a tidal project in Canada – and it can be used for wind, wave and tidal modalities. Our roadmap will incorporate photovoltaic.

Exceedence was spun out in 2014 to commercialise the technology.

How is this idea commercially attractive?

We estimate there are at least 4,000 companies globally that would need one or more copies of our financial evaluation software, and that the addressable market annually is worth €150 million.

Several organisations are already using and validating our technology.

What are you looking for at the Big Ideas event?

We are seeking development funding to evolve the proven product and business model and accelerate its path to new markets both sectorally and geographically.

Our product development support and operations will be in Ireland but we want to build out sales in order to access other regions.