UL Advisory Services conducted a feasibility study using HOMER Grid modeling software to analyze the financial impact of the deployment of carport based solar + energy storage for a Technology Campus located in California. The primary objectives were to configure and architect a renewable energy system to offset the increasing cost of electricity, particularly the peak demand charges. Peak demand charges are a considerable portion of the facility’s expenses and the portion that is increasing the most. Additionally, this facility is seeking LEED certification and both solar and storage contribute to the sustainability mission – the production and consumption of clean, zero-carbon energy.
In this analysis, UL determined the cost of energy and demand charges based on analysis of historical utility bills, and current tariff rates. In collaborating with the client, UL performed system simulations of several configurations and technology platforms based on the client’s current and future plans. The team then optimized the configurations and architecture to maximize incentives and tariff rate analysis before finalizing the financial analytics to show the potential reduction in utility expenses and increase in cash-on-cash return on investment.
With solar PV and energy storage, the campus can expect to save $88,306 in energy in the first year (20% in kWh energy consumption), $73,264 in demand charges in the first year, with a 6.3 year payback and cash-on-cash return of 15.4% with a net upfront investment of $1,631,186.