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New Multi-year Features of HOMER Grid Design Software Enable Solar+Storage Developers to Predict Financial Impacts of Utility Tariff Increases

New Multi-year Features of HOMER Grid Design Software Enable Solar+Storage Developers to Predict Financial Impacts of Utility Tariff Increases


BOULDER, Colo.: Experts and new users of the HOMER Grid software are driving enhancements that will enable more powerful and accurate modeling of grid-tied distributed energy systems. Released today, the new version of HOMER Grid for optimizing behind-the-meter distributed generation features a new multi-year module that facilitates calculations on the impacts of utility price escalation, growing electric loads, and the degradation of batteries and PV panels over time. As more energy entrepreneurs design and build distributed energy systems and hybrid renewable microgrids, their clients are asking how these projects might be able to scale up in size and adapt to changing conditions in the future. The multi-year analysis is a key tool for testing ways that distributed energy projects are likely to perform decades from now.

“Customer feedback was instrumental in the choice to add multi-year analysis to HOMER Grid,” says CEO Dr. Peter Lilienthalof HOMER Energy, which designed the software. “In the fast-moving microgrid world, we work closely with our users to develop new approaches.”

HOMER Grid helps commercial and industrial (C&I) customers reduce demand charges and other electricity costs through the design of behind-the-meter projects that incorporate renewable energy, storage, and other efficient technologies such as combined heat and power (CHP). By accurately modeling and comparing the financial benefits of different distributed energy investments, HOMER Grid users can reduce financial risk by determining the best mix of resources for the lowest cost. HOMER Grid incorporates utility tariff data from the US, Canada, and Mexico, and makes it easy for users from other countries to create custom tariffs. Using utility costs and simulating distributed energy systems based on specifications from leading equipment manufacturers, HOMER Grid performs complex calculations that identify potential values in self-consumption, demand charge reduction, and energy arbitrage.

A new enhancement that should appeal to experts is the ability to export dispatch log files and dig into minute-by-minute details behind battery discharge or peak shaving. Users who have an in-depth understanding of the simulation process will be more confident that HOMER Grid is representing a realistic performance of their system and be able to convey that information to their clients more easily. HOMER Grid also has an improved Time Series Viewer, which will allow users to bookmark their preferred graphs, access them instantly each time they model a system, and include them quickly in the final Simulation Report, an important customer communication tool.

For new users of HOMER Grid – or people that are just getting proficient with modeling of distributed energy systems – there are several enhancements that will make it quicker and easier to understand the results of a simulation. A Summary Tab pops up each time a model run is completed, displaying the “winning” or least-cost design front and center. The Time Series Viewer now includes key graphs that are set up by default in the software. Overlaying the most frequently accessed data sets, they illustrate critical insights such as peak shaving and battery discharge, providing visual illustrations of how the distributed energy system is operating.

About HOMER Energy

HOMER Energy is the developer and distributor of HOMER software, the global standard for energy modeling tools that analyze solar-plus-storage, microgrids and other distributed energy projects. HOMER® Pro simulates the engineering and economic feasibility of complex off-grid and grid-tied distributed energy systems that combine conventional and renewable power, storage, and load management. HOMER Grid, aimed at the solar-plus-storage market, helps commercial and industrial customers design hybrid renewable energy systems that save on electricity bills and lower carbon footprints. Based in Boulder, Colorado, HOMER Energy was founded in 2009 by Peter Lilienthal, Ph.D., and Marilyn Walker, Ph.D, and now has over 200,000 users in more than 190 countries. Learn more at www.homerenergy.com or call 720-565-4046.

Source: HOMER Energy
Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network


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