In this third Energy DNA blog post we explore Energy Intensity Analytics and how Energy Analytics can be used to optimize solar power or other forms of grid-tied renewable energy generation. Recall that the colorful Energy DNA chart displays energy intensity by date (vertical axis) and time of day (horizontal axis).
ENERGY ANALYTICS CASE STUDY 3: ENERGY INTENSITY WITH SOLAR
For most businesses, peak rates generate big bills. But what if you could turn the utility’s pricing model to your advantage, “selling” renewable when it is expensive and buying utility energy when it is cheap?
Under California law, utilities are required to “net meter” renewable energy: when generation exceeds consumption the utility meter spins backwards and generates a bill credit at the current retail rate. This credit is then used to offset your future bill when consumption later exceeds generation.
From 6pm to 9am this California distribution center’s Energy DNA looks fairly typical, with cooling loads driving more intense energy consumption during the hot summer months. But a HelioPower-installed solar facility generates excess mid-day power, spinning the meter backwards during prime daylight hours. As a result energy intensity is low – actually negative from the utility’s perspective – during peak rate periods.
And Energy Intensity Analytics has helped this client go even further. With a new, much improved energy DNA, this client actually seeks a rate schedule that charges more for peak energy: remember they sell on-peak and consume off-peak. Hence they were able to eliminate over 80% of their energy bill by replacing less than 75% of their energy.