Excel Powerview

So I've been spending some more time analyzing publicly available energy data after a recent big data/statistics event I attended.  Excel 2013 has some great new features that add on to the pivot tables, charts and graphs that you may have known before.

I am a big map guy, so I have been particularly impressed by the Powerview Mapping functionality that they now offer.  Take a look at one of their demos here.

Also you can't forget the moving bubble chart, a classic in TED Talks for some time now.  It's possible now to easily manipulate data this way with some strong excel knowledge, and PowerView.

Regardless, it opens up the door for better dashboards, easier access to actionable intelligence from your SQL server database, and more user friendly results.  Just another reason why MS Excel is so great. 

Eligible Basis

When working with tax advantaged renewable energy projects, figuring out what exactly can go into the tax credit basis can be quite a challenge!  Looking into some specific issues, I came across this great resource that Deloitte put together.

A good general rule when determining whether something can be included in tax credit basis is to ask oneself:

"Is this a physical part of the energy generation system?"

With this in mind, it becomes clear that a fence around your solar array is not basis eligible, but that racking systems are.  Improved roads to the property are not, but ladders or walkways REQUIRED for maintenance would be.  Permits themselves are not, but the site plan and engineering drawings required may be, if these are required for the construction team to install the system and the system could not be built without them otherwise.  



Private Equity Terms

When people are looking to raise money, or get started with their new business, sometimes the terms alone can be an impediment to making things happen.  I just came across this great list of terms relevant to the finance industry that could be useful to some clients. Many of the definitions are actually quite funny!  Here's an example:

A bank account, usually controlled by an independent Trustee. Parties place money in an 
escrow account, pending the final outcome of some event. When the parties know the 
outcome, the Trustee pays the funds to whomever the contract says should receive them 
under the circumstances. In practice, the parties often sue each other (and the Trustee) 
because the exact definition of the relevant event is fuzzy, in someone’s opinion. "