The Inputs worksheet is where all inputs and assumptions used for calculations are entered by the user. All calculations tabs (AFS, QFS, and Calculations) are derived from these assumptions.
- General – Basic project details
- Timing – Key dates such as the beginning date of the model, construction start, construction period, PPA (offtake contract) term, and key Senior Debt dates.
- Revenues – Assumptions regarding PPA price and annual price escalation.
- Capital Expenditures – Major capital expenditure categories (typically construction contracts, advisors, development costs, etc.). Contingency is calculated as a percentage of the total, with the use of contingency funds calculated to be taken based on the total project spend as a percentage of total CapEx spending. It is advised that these inputs be left in this simple form, and if you require a much more detailed list of cost categories to track them in a separate costs tab and reference broader categories of spending and the percentage spend in this table.
- Energy Generation – Energy generation (in kWh) on a monthly basis, inclusive of various probability scenarios (P50, P90, P99). You can choose a different scenario from the Chosen Yield Probability Scenario by selecting the pulldown cell. Additional scenarios can be easily added to the table.
- Operations – All annual operating costs, with the annual cost escalation percentage (set at a default rate of 2%). In addition, inputs for two one-time episodic costs are included for modeling flexibility. The working capital assumptions provide for the number of months between when Accounts Receivables/Payable are incurred (not billed) and when they are paid. It is recommended to assume at least one month and to run a sensitivity at three months to ensure the initial working capital in the project is sufficient if there is a delay in payment for the initial invoice. Problems with insufficient project cash typically occur in the first few months of operations and can be resolved by increasing the Prefunded Working Capital amount. The Major Maintenance Reserve Account functionality is a placeholder. The Minimum Cash Balance is accounted for in any shareholder loan payment or dividend so that there is always adequate cash in the project to meet this minimum balance.
- Financing – The Sculpting Macro assumptions are used for the Sculpting Macro and the Maximize Debt macros sculpt the debt payments to a target DSCR, and maximize the leverage and tenor of the loan, respectively. The macro-pasted values should not be changed except by the Macro. The Equity assumptions provide for both equity and shareholder loan considerations, while the Senior Debt assumptions assume a single lender. The Debt Service Reserve Account assumptions are critical to the avoiding cash shortages in the first year of operations: the required months of debt service look forward only a specified number of months, and heavily sculpted debt service or grace periods can result in a significant cash need should the minimum DSRA balance significantly increase in a short period (such as the expiration of a grace period). For that reason, an Initial Funding/First Year Override function has been included to override this minimum balance calculation to ensure the ability to pre-fund a larger DSRA. If you are having year one cash problems, the DSRA and Net Working Capital calculations (see Operations above) are typically the cause.
- Depreciation and Tax – These assumptions assume straight-line depreciation for both book and tax depreciation, and will adjust for a deferred tax asset should there be a difference between the two. Other depreciation schedules (such as MACRS) can easily be added into the Calculation spreadsheet. It is assumed that all capital expenditures will be depreciated under one timeline, and that financing costs are depreciated equally between the commercial operation date and the final debt payment. Reserve accounts are not depreciated. Tax considerations are typically jurisdiction and project-specific, so it is necessary to have expert counsel guide depreciation and tax considerations.