New HOMER® Pro Release Aims at Solar Developers and Solar-Plus-Storage

The latest release of HOMER Pro – version 3.11 – is now integrated with two powerful and widely used tools for designing PV systems, HelioScope and PVsyst. This integration reflects important trends in the renewable energy industry including the growth of the solar-plus-storage market, fueled by the plummeting cost of energy storage.

The initial market for solar-plus-storage has been in isolated microgrids, where HOMER Energy and the broader storage industry have developed a lot of relevant experience. This has critical implications for utilities and the growth of distributed renewables. Now, solar-plus-storage technology is starting to be deployed in  grid-connected projects.

The updates in HOMER Pro 3.11 allow solar designers and developers to optimize the design of hybrid renewable energy systems with  battery storage – something that other PV design tools cannot currently do. HOMER Pro 3.11 complements and expands the capabilities of HelioScope and PVSyst by providing ways for solar designers to estimate the feasibility of more complex projects at an early stage, identify economically optimal equipment combinations,  and get information on payback times, capital and operating costs.

How to Use HelioScope and PVsyst with HOMER Pro

If you are a HelioScope user, you can create your PV system – including the configuration of solar arrays, shading and other obstructions, and wiring schemes – in HelioScope as usual. Using your HelioScope credentials, you choose which project you want to import, and HOMER Pro does the rest. You can also manually upload a HelioScope or PVsyst output. HOMER Pro will import the production data of your solar system, allowing you to use the HOMER Optimizer to rapidly simulate different system sizes and find the one that meets your preferred economic, design or emissions criteria.

These new integrations with popular solar design tools in HOMER Pro will expand the market for microgrid design, helping renewable energy professionals use HOMER Pro to explore new technical opportunities and implement the expanding variety of choices available in  distributed energy, including energy storage and microgrids.

HelioScope is eager to expand in the other direction, into the international, energy access and island marketplace, through cooperation with HOMER Energy. Paul Grana, co-founder of HelioScope’s Folsom Labs said, “Through this partnership, we’re looking forward to working with users around the world to increase the availability of affordable, clean solar energy in all applications.”

Try HOMER Pro v3.11 and see what you think! 

All these software tools offer free trials. Download them and test them out!

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