Commercial Buildings Benefit From Solar
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has an online tool allowing anyone to see if their commercial buildings can benefit from solar. Enter a building’s information for an estimate on the solar and battery storage required to maintain critical power during an emergency.
The REopt Lite web tool was designed with energy managers, community partners and building owners in mind. Here are some key functions:
- Evaluates the economic viability of grid-connected PV and battery storage
- Identifies sizes of systems and operational strategies to minimize energy costs
- Determines system sizes required to sustain critical loads during a specified outage period
Features let users determine the benefits and costs of a solar and storage system enhances to power necessary functions during an outage.
This newly optimized tool has an easy-to-use interface. Required data is simple such as building location and electricity rates. This tool allows users to analyze whether commercial buildings can benefit from solar and storage systems for any building, including but not limited to, schools, libraries, multifamily housing units.
Calculate Commercial Solar Savings
ReOpt calculates and generates estimates for the ideal solar and storage system size the building will need to meet two design goals:
- Create Financial Benefits. Many tools can evaluate the economic benefits of solar, however, adding a storage system into the equation makes things much more complicated. The main economic benefit of adding battery storage for commercial customers is to reduce demand charges. Demand charges range from 30 to 70 percent of a monthly utility bill for commercial clients. Storage batteries can directly target and manage periods of high electricity demand, which saves commercial clients substantially.
- Create Resilience Benefits. Making sure a commercial building can withstand an outage is now the second most important goal for clients. Recent disasters where outages contributed to devastation, has brought the importance of power resilience into the limelight. The tool provides building owners and emergency planners straightforward tools to determine how to make buildings more resilient.
REopt Lite allows users to factor in economics and resiliency together-two goals previously considered independently- in a simple, side-by-side comparison.
The REopt Lite tool allows users to see cost benefits an avoided outage gives users, by assigning and adjusting values. This feature makes it possible to consider the financial benefit of improved resilience. Enhancing customization and accuracy, another new feature permits users to incorporate existing on-site generation, like a diesel generator into their evaluation.
The above features and full resilience tools were collaboratively produced with the Clean Energy Group through its Resilient Power Project.
Here is the link to the calculator: https://reopt.nrel.gov/tool
For all your commercial solar panel installation questions and needs, contact the energy experts with SunPro Solar today at 951-678-7733.