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Title: Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges

Abstract

Demand charges, which are based on a customer’s maximum demand in kilowatts (kW), are a common element of electricity rate structures for commercial customers. Customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can potentially reduce demand charges, but the level of savings is difficult to predict, given variations in demand charge designs, customer loads, and PV generation profiles. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating on a series of studies to understand how solar PV can impact demand charges. Prior studies in the series examined demand charge reductions from solar on a stand-alone basis for residential and commercial customers. Those earlier analyses found that solar, alone, has limited ability to reduce demand charges depending on the specific design of the demand charge and on the shape of the customer’s load profile. This latest analysis estimates demand charge savings from solar in commercial buildings when co-deployed with behind-the-meter storage, highlighting the complementary roles of the two technologies. The analysis is based on simulated loads, solar generation, and storage dispatch across a wide variety of building types, locations, system configurations, and demand charge designs.

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [2];  [2];  [2]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
  2. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1408479
Report Number(s):
LBNL-2001071
ark:/13030/qt0m76w8gs
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY

Citation Formats

Gagnon, P., Govindarajan, A., Bird, L., Barbose, G. L., Darghouth, N. R., and Mills, A. D. Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1408479.
Gagnon, P., Govindarajan, A., Bird, L., Barbose, G. L., Darghouth, N. R., & Mills, A. D. Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges. United States. doi:10.2172/1408479.
Gagnon, P., Govindarajan, A., Bird, L., Barbose, G. L., Darghouth, N. R., and Mills, A. D. 2017. "Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges". United States. doi:10.2172/1408479. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1408479.
@article{osti_1408479,
title = {Solar + Storage Synergies for Managing Commercial-Customer Demand Charges},
author = {Gagnon, P. and Govindarajan, A. and Bird, L. and Barbose, G. L. and Darghouth, N. R. and Mills, A. D.},
abstractNote = {Demand charges, which are based on a customer’s maximum demand in kilowatts (kW), are a common element of electricity rate structures for commercial customers. Customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) systems can potentially reduce demand charges, but the level of savings is difficult to predict, given variations in demand charge designs, customer loads, and PV generation profiles. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are collaborating on a series of studies to understand how solar PV can impact demand charges. Prior studies in the series examined demand charge reductions from solar on a stand-alone basis for residential and commercial customers. Those earlier analyses found that solar, alone, has limited ability to reduce demand charges depending on the specific design of the demand charge and on the shape of the customer’s load profile. This latest analysis estimates demand charge savings from solar in commercial buildings when co-deployed with behind-the-meter storage, highlighting the complementary roles of the two technologies. The analysis is based on simulated loads, solar generation, and storage dispatch across a wide variety of building types, locations, system configurations, and demand charge designs.},
doi = {10.2172/1408479},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month =
}

Technical Report:

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  • We study the synergies between behind-the-meter solar and storage in reducing commercial-customer demand charges. This follows two previous studies that examined demand charge savings for stand-alone solar in both the residential and commercial sectors. In this study we show that solar and storage show consistent synergies for demand charge management, that the magnitude of reductions are highly customer-specific, and that the magnitude of savings is influenced by the design of the electricity tariff.
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