The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requested FEMP technical assistance to evaluate feasibility of on-site solar photovoltaics (PV) and battery storage to support cost savings and decarbonization goals. Through this technical assistance engagement, a team of experts used NREL's REopt® web tool to evaluate the techno-economic viability of these technologies at nine EPA facilities, including Ada, Athens, Cincinnati-AWBERC, Corvallis, Fort Meade, Gulf Breeze, Montgomery, Narragansett, and RTP Main & National Computer Center. The analysis considered multiple ownership models, including direct purchase and third-party ownership/financing, as well as energy goals such as minimizing energy costs and achieving 50% renewable electricity annually. 

This technical assistance initiative identified five facilities where solar PV and battery storage could be cost-effective. It also provided insights into optimal system sizing and economic feasibility for these installations. The analysis revealed that the Narragansett, Rhode Island, facility stood out as the most cost-effective location, with REopt projecting that PV could meet 50% of its annual electricity consumption through using on-site technologies with a positive net present value. Encouraged by these findings, EPA is now awarding a feasibility study for solar PV and battery storage at the Narragansett facility. 

Lesson Learned

FEMP Technical Assistance with the REopt tool, can guide agencies in directing their resources toward on-site project development, particularly when budget constraints are a concern.