When considering municipal on-site solar PV, it is important to first understand your portfolio-wide solar energy generation potential. This not only helps you understand the potential impact of your project on reaching your broader renewable energy goals, but also identifies the municipal sites with the greatest solar energy potential.
First, list all municipal buildings, parking lots, and lands (e.g., land near water treatment plants, airports) connected to an electric meter using an organized template such as RMI’s Municipal Solar Site Selection Tool (MSSST) or the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Solar Site Assessment and Utility Data spreadsheet. Next you can use the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) PVWatts Calculator tool to determine information to help prioritize sites using the tool’s Draw Your System function (under the System Info tab). If you are using EPA’s spreadsheet, use the site type and address from columns E and F of the spreadsheet to determine the following: