RA POWER & LIGHT uses a phased approach to perform energy audits and cost/benefit analysis for large-scale commercial industrial renewable energy systems operating independently or grid connected. Each facility is unique, requiring some degree of custom design for the system to achieve its full potential. For example, one southern California Public School District manages 70 buildings scattered across 18 sites. We specialize in distributed PV designs of this type. The Energy Audit is a value assessment and technology road map to take large-scale facilities entirely off the grid- or remain grid connected. The goals of the Energy Audit are to verify each site’s ability to produce power, set the logical order of proposed energy solutions and prove the overall financial viability of the project.
The first step is to model 15-minute interval data provided by the Utility. This data comes from the Utility in XML or Excel format for each meter and provides a definitive snapshot of energy demand and consumption at 96 points each day, for a total of 35,040 data points over 365 days for each meter. Industrial facilities often have up to ten meters, representing over 350,000 records across 12 months. We model interval data using sophisticated software tools to determine precisely how much of the power bill will be offset by the proposed system, for each meter. The software then allocates a percentage of the proposed PV system capacity to each meter, ranked by the cost of energy and peak demand for each. Fixed charges or non-by passable utility charges are not factored into the results and monthly power bills do not provide sufficient information. To request and receive interval usage data usually requires a phone call to your representative at the local Utility.
The second step is Rate Analysis. In California, Utilities established the Renewable Rate Tariff for Commercial Solar customers. The “R” tariff is counter intuitive in that it actually raises already high summer peak rates and lowers winter rates for Solar customers. The good news is under the R tariff, you no longer buy summer daytime peak energy from the grid. The net effect is a cost reduction on power you buy in the winter, resulting in another 10-20% savings in annual energy costs above the solar contribution. We model your existing utility rates post-solar against the impact of switching to the R rate tariff to quantify the benefit of the change.
The final step is to model and compare different financing types against each other to reveal ROI by type. These results illustrate the effect and cost of up to four different project financing methods to identify which best suits the project based on the Client’s appetite for tax equity, and desired payback.