Smart Energy Technologies

Technical Symposium

Making Solar+Storage Investment Decisions for Industrial Customers

Tuesday, September 25
3:05 PM - 3:25 PM
Location: 203AB

Abstract Content : As solar and batteries continue to gain traction in the marketplace through falling prices and improving performance, there is a need to consider new markets for installing these systems. However, evaluating options for customer-sited and distributed technologies can be overwhelming. There are a significant number of options to consider, from stand-alone investments in solar PV, to systems that deploy solar+storage together, and systems that must pair with other alternative options - such as combined-heat-and-power (CHP), or even wind. The significant number of options to consider can impair your ability to effectively analyze and prioritize investments. On top of that, how you integrate options can either strengthen or weaken the overall investment potential of your system, adding another layer of complexity.

Until now, there have been no publicly available tools that can consider stacked value streams including peak shaving, arbitrage, grid back-up, renewable integration, CHP, and investment incentives. The tool developed under this work builds on research presented last year at SPI2017 (“Economic Analysis and Design Optimization for Peak Shaving Applications”) and addresses the gap in available planning and investment tools by expanding the design optimization tool to include customers that use combined heat and power. Providing an industry-standard platform, the tool enables developers, system designers, equipment suppliers, investors, and other interested parties to identify the least cost combination of distributed solar, wind, virtually any storage technology, CHP, and back-up generation.

Focusing on the value streams and their interactions for a typical large industrial customer in California, this presentation will detail how the tool:

The ability to quickly and easily understand their investment potential for customers with site-specific energy needs will enable solar+storage systems to expand their footprint in the marketplace. This tool is capable of significantly reducing initial investment design cost by quickly determining optimal design options for a wide variety of commercial and industrial customers.


Peter Lilienthal

Chief Executive Officer
HOMER Energy

Dr. Peter Lilienthal is the CEO of HOMER Energy. Since 1993, he has been the developer of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s HOMER® hybrid power optimization software, which has been used by over 180,000 energy practitioners in 193 countries. NREL has licensed HOMER Energy to be the sole world-wide commercialization licensee to distribute and enhance the HOMER model.

Dr. Lilienthal was the Senior Economist with International Programs at NREL from 1990 – 2007. He was the lead analyst and one of the creators of NREL’s Village Power Programs. He has a Ph.D. in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford University. He has been active in the field of renewable energy and energy efficiency since 1978. This has included designing and teaching courses at the university level, project development of independent power projects, and consulting to industry and regulators. His expertise is in the economic and financial analysis of renewable and micro-grid projects.


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Making Solar+Storage Investment Decisions for Industrial Customers

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