Proposal for Solar Energy Database

Topics: Photovoltaics, Property, Solar System Pages: 6 (1786 words) Published: October 2, 2013

Proposal for Solar Database Development

Austin Technology Incubator / Clean Energy Incubator

Patrick Kennedy
Lauren Bissey
Guillermo Hernandez


Proposal for Solar Database Development
This document serves to illustrate next steps for the development of the Solar Database project for future associates. In addition, it indicates particular needs that require attention as the project moves forward.

The purpose of the Solar Database Development project is to consider the financial viability of aggregate sales of solar PV on commercial and industrial properties, both rooftops and parking structures, in the Austin Energy service area and to create a repeatable process for cities seeking to expand solar development. Specifically, the objective is to identify, analyze, and understand the conditions by which property stakeholders will contract for solar development on commercial rooftop, industrial rooftop, and parking structures in Austin, TX. Previous work yielded a database of Austin sites with a kW value attached to rooftop and parking structure area as well as rough notes on any complications for each site, primarily developed with the aid of McCombs School of Business. These values were generated through a polygon matching algorithm estimating rooftop area and assuming particular PV energy output. Further development of the database of potential solar sites is needed as well as further investigation into the financial models most appropriate for property stakeholders. The three financial models currently being tested are standard lease of rooftop (or parking structure) space, power purchase agreement (PPA), and full PV system sale to the property owner. As of July 2012, a BOMA survey soliciting data for site financial terms and physical characteristics has been distributed by John Sutton.

Current Proposal
Ease of data entry, ease of access and data consistency are important as the project as currently envisioned involves iterating financial models and proposals through repeated contact with property stakeholders. The current approach is to develop a database of properties in the Austin Energy service area, create three different financial models as mentioned above, and present the financial models in the form of “straw-man” proposals to property stakeholders. The intended result of this process is to be an understanding of the conditions by which property stakeholders will consider solar development. More importantly, the conditions required by property stakeholders will be inputted into the database such that as market conditions fluctuate, particular financial models embedded within the database and linked with the conditions of the property stakeholders will be highlighted as attractive or not for specific property stakeholders. The end result is to be an adaptive database that can be monitored for market conditions in which large scale solar development (in the 100MW range) is viable. Two major sources of data are needed for this database development: solar PV financials including but not limited to installation cost, energy output, degradation of output, governmental incentives and rate escalators, and property stakeholder conditions, including but not limited to payback, IRR, interest rates, credit rating and interest in intangible benefits. With multiple files and large data sets being aggregated, it becomes imperative to build a centrally located and easily accessible database from which multiple involved parties can view and edit as needed. The July 2012 distributed BOMA survey is an attempt to speed the data collection process and in the upcoming months it will be clear if this tactic is effective. Further improvements on data collection speed, efficiency and effectiveness are warranted. ATI Clean Energy Associates propose the creation of a web application with a back-end database accessible to project leaders and relevant...
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