Using HOMER to Model Advanced Inverter Technology in Solar-Plus-Storage for Boulder, Colorado

Solar plus storage has been pegged as a game changer for the grid-connected world, offering a mechanism that allows much higher penetrations of renewable energy than simple rooftop PV. Additionally, properly controlled solar plus storage systems can deliver many additional values including demand-response and increased reliability, taking over when the grid is not available.

HOMER Energy is part of the team led by Evolution7 Labs that was recently selected as a recipient of Boulder’s Energy Challenge Grants, one of 6 winners from among 30 applicants. The team, which also includes technology from Heart Transverter and electric vehicle integration equipment from Eaton Corporation, will build two “islandable” microgrids based on the results of HOMER analysis. HOMER Energy will work with the team to determine the most feasible systems.

The principle benefit of the project is the creation of a demonstration and evaluation platform for a key set of emerging solar-plus-storage technologies that can bring carbon-free electricity into community homes and businesses and into the local electricity distribution grid, providing a way for solar to enhance grid stability, rather than cause instability. The proposed project will provide the experience and data necessary to more fully evaluate and quantify the potential feasibility for clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction across the entire Boulder community, either in concert with the local utility or entirely “behind-the-meter”. It could show Boulder the way to high-penetration solar PV and create a model for what healthy forward-looking solar technology development should look like.