Enter the contact information for each prioritized site’s facility manager on columns B, C, and D of the EPA’s Solar Site Assessment and Utility Data spreadsheet. Reaching out through previously established communication channels to each site manager may help expedite information requests if this is the first time you will be contacting these individuals. Next, request each of the following key inputs from the site managers:
Request Data for Prioritized Sites
Future Site Plans (column K)
Note if there are any expected changes to the site that would prevent a solar PV installation.
Rooftop Age (column AD)
If the roof is more than 10 years old, it may need to be replaced during or prior to the solar PV installation.
Site electricity usage (column V)
Understanding a building’s monthly electricity usage helps to design a solar PV system’s size to meet the load. This may be particularly important where net metering regulations don’t compensate excess power production well. Most city energy managers should have access to this information, either through their own databases, EPA’s Portfolio Energy Manager, or by downloading from their online utility account. If storage is part of the analysis, a building’s 15-minute or hourly load profile will also be needed. If you are sizing solar PV for net-zero energy buildings, you will also need to collect further information on heating loads from natural gas bills.
Site electric rate schedule (column U)
This is an important economic input to calculate energy cost savings during different times of day or seasons. It can easily be obtained from a monthly bill. This may vary by site, so differences in utility rates between sites should be specified.
Historic building designation (you must add a column)
Cross-check sites with historical building lists and corresponding preservation restrictions that prohibit certain building modifications such as solar PV Historical Preservation Sites: The National Trust for Historical Preservation’s website lists properties included in the National Register of Historic Places and offers further state-level information and laws regarding historical preservation. .
State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) compliance (you must add a column)
Some states require projects located on municipal lands to comply with SEPA if there are potential environmental impacts State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) compliance: Some states require projects located on municipal lands to comply with SEPA. . While rooftop and ground-mount systems generally do not trigger an environmental review, an environmental law expert may be worth consulting in some cases.