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REopt Lite Verifies PV and Battery System Design at an ICE Communications Site in Puerto Rico

Rows of solar panels with a red and white tower on top of a building behind them.

Energy managers at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) used the REopt™ Lite web tool to verify the economic viability and design specifications of planned photovoltaic (PV) and battery storage systems at an ICE site in Vieques, Puerto Rico. The tool helped the team discern the PV and storage system requirements to meet the site’s load; the 24-hour facility primarily operates a communications tower used for emergency response services and law enforcement operations. The power distribution lines dedicated to the site were destroyed in the 2017 hurricane season, prompting ICE to reconsider the site’s power supply in the face of future severe weather disruptions. ICE eventually determined construction of an off-grid system was the best option.

The ICE team used REopt Lite in the design and implementation phases of the project. First, they used REopt Lite to evaluate the sizing and economic feasibility of solar and battery microgrids at several Caribbean island sites before soliciting bids, then used REopt Lite to evaluate the bids received. The size estimates REopt Lite provided for PV and battery systems aligned closely with the systems eventually installed at the Vieques site.