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REopt Evaluates Commercial Solar Plus Storage

A color-coded map of the United States shows that solar or solar plus storage savings were highest in California, New York, New Mexico, and Alaska. Solar alone was economical for some of the building types in every location, while solar combined with storage provided cost savings in more than half of the locations. Some states, such as Georgia and Washington, had few cases in which solar and/or storage was found to provide savings potential.

A map summarizes the average potential for savings from solar or solar plus storage in commercial buildings. The darker shaded states were found to have higher potential for savings, and the pie charts indicate the degree to which each technology combination contributed to the cost reduction. Illustration from NREL

NREL used the REopt® model to evaluate the economics of solar paired with battery storage across the country, conducting thousands of optimization runs to evaluate economic viability across different building types, climate zones, and utility rate tariffs. NREL’s analysis considered multiple potential value streams including peak shaving, energy arbitrage, frequency regulation, capacity markets, and the value of resilience. The results show where solar and storage may be cost-effective in the near-term and long-term.

The REopt analysis is being used to identify cost-optimal technology combinations of solar and storage for a variety of building types and market conditions; explore methods to value the contribution of solar-plus-storage to electric system resilience; characterize market potential for multiple technology and policy trajectories; and support identification of policy and regulatory options to support solar-plus-storage deployment.