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REopt Screenings Help Universities Assess Feasibility of PV and Battery Storage

NREL compared the business as usual case with two alternate scenarios where a university could install additional PV, or PV and batteries. Illustration by NREL

Technologies Evaluated Business as Usual Add PV Add PV and Battery Storage
Additional PV Size n/a 3 MW 3 MW
Battery Size n/a n/a 0.58 MW:3.2 MWh
Total Cost n/a $5.6 million $7.8 million
Annual Energy Costs $487,000 $269,000 ($218,000 savings) $292,000 ($195,000 savings)
Annual Demand Costs $679,000 $652,000 ($28,000 savings) $522,000 ($157,000 savings)
Life Cycle Cost $29.0 million $27.1 million $25.6 million
Net Present Value n/a $1.9 million $3.4 million

In support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, NREL conducted solar photovoltaic (PV) screenings for 15 universities seeking to go solar. Using the REopt™ model, NREL provided an initial techno-economic assessment of PV and storage feasibility at the selected universities.

NREL provided each university with customized results, including the cost-effectiveness of PV and storage, recommended system size and cost, and estimated life cycle cost savings. The universities are using NREL’s results to move forward with solar and storage implementation.

NREL's Climate Neutral Research Campuses website has resources on developing and implementing climate action plans.

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Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office

Key Partners

Beloit College

Fairleigh Dickinson University

Georgia Tech

Lake Superior College

Lane Community College

Luther College

Milwaukee Area Technical College

Northern Arizona University

South Central College

Thomas College

Tuskegee University

University of California, Riverside

University of Colorado, Colorado Springs

University of Minnesota, Duluth

Washington and Lee University


Kate Anderson