Homer Energy and UL launch modelling software for renewable hybrids

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Image: UL

Advisory, audit and testing group UL has unveiled a new service for utility-scale renewable hybrid power systems to evaluate their potential profitability.

Called HOMER Front & UL Analysis, the service is designed to assess whether a developer’s solar or wind plus storage systems will “meet financial requirements and provide a stable and greener power supply”, Peter Lilienthal, HOMER Energy’s founder and UL Renewables’ global microgrid lead, said.

UL acquired Homer Energy in December 2019 to expand the company’s training, analytics and advisory services across the renewable energy value chain.

The new tool will enable developers to optimise front-of-meter utility-scale hybrid projects that include wind, solar and battery energy storage systems (BESS) and assess their profitability.

The launch comes as dozens of solar and energy storage developers have added gigawatts of power generation capacity to their construction pipelines in the past year. Research from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) published in January forecasts a record 15.4GW of new utility-scale PV will come online in 2021, although that figure may well be an underestimate. The US solar sector had already surpassed multiple records last year, according to a collaborative report published this week (16 March) by Solar Energy Industries Alliance and analyst firm Wood Mackenzie. Some 19.2GWdc was installed in 2020, representing a 43% rise on 2019’s figures. Close to half of this (8GWdc) was installed in the last quarter of the year alone, of which 6.3GWdc was categorised as utility-scale. Aided by the two-year extension of the investment tax credit (ITC) on solar installs, the report predicts that more than 400GW of solar capacity will be online by 2030.

Likewise, growth in utility-scale storage has accelerated towards the end of 2020. US installations of advanced energy storage surpassed the 1GW mark for the first time last year, according to a separate report from Wood Mackenzie, which predicts that the annual market could grow to 7.5GW/26.GWh in four years’ time. The world’s largest battery storage system came online in Monterey County, California, at the start of 2021, and other record-breaking projects are also under development in markets such as California and Australia.

As the solar sector ventures into new territory with much larger power systems, Lilienthal said the accelerating deployment necessitates software that can model “complex variables in front-of-the-meter generation”. Homer Energy’s latest product models time of delivery power purchase agreements, energy shifting arbitrage in the wholesale market and capacity reserve markets, and can also show information such as optimal dispatch for BESS.

Lilienthal said optimising software such as this is “the key to meeting the increasing need for flexible energy resources.

“We’re pleased to provide a modelling and analysis service which can help give developers confidence that their solar and wind plus storage systems will meet financial requirements and provide a stable and greener power supply.”

Read Next

October 19, 2021
Lightsource bp has announced its entry into Poland’s solar market through a co-development deal which will see the developer proceed with a 757MWp pipeline in the country.
October 19, 2021
Europe's energy crisis can be a boon for renewables deployment on the continent by bolstering business cases, but familiar foes such as grid constraints will still need to be hurdled in the coming years.
October 15, 2021
Doral Renewables has broken ground on the 1.65GWdc Mammoth Solar project in Indiana, set to be the US’ largest solar farm once complete.
October 13, 2021
While solar PV and wind deployment will far outstrip additions from other electricity sources over the next decade, clean energy progress is still lagging behind what is needed to put global emissions into sustained decline towards net zero, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has warned.
September 23, 2021
A project that bids to combine up to 20GW of solar PV with the world’s largest energy storage battery and a 4,200km-long subsea power cable has moved a step forward after Indonesian authorities greenlit its proposed transmission cable route.
September 23, 2021
Arizonan utility Salt River Project (SRP) and renewables company Clēnera have signed a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) for the CO Bar Solar project that is expected to deliver between 440-480MW of power

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
November 10, 2021
8am (PST) | 5pm (CET)
Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021