Renewables: The Future of Energy
The answer is clear that we must be innovative in the pursuit of a carbon-free future, think differently, and invite new and relevant players to the energy landscape. Renewable energy planning for the consumer and the supplier is critical to an environmentally friendly and resilient future.
The solar energy industry of 2022 brings with it huge opportunities as a proven technology capable of producing clean, efficient energy. From ground mount to rooftop to full scale solar architectural installations, both system capacity and demand is growing. Today, the average price per watt for commercial photovoltaic systems is around $1.72, compared to $5.57 in 2010, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Most energy and economic experts believe the future of renewable energy is being defined by its parallel use with energy storage. Solar paired with storage will enable a broader energy transformation with increased vehicle electrification along with elevated environmental and social awareness of our daily carbon footprint. The push for renewable energy is driving a green economy and lifestyle with infinite dynamics. We take a holistic approach to solar design which includes the following considerations:
Analysis and Modeling
A critical first step for energy professionals is to analyze and model clients’ current or desired future state as it relates to renewable energy. This should include the following:
- Evaluate facility energy consumption
- Develop power generation performance models
- Optimize PV plant design
- Selection assistance for modules, inverters, racking, and system type (fixed or tracking)
- Interconnection assistance
Moving into the new energy future requires action and a team that understands site considerations with a commitment to assess potential sites for renewable projects. Site assessments should include:
- Feasibility analysis
- Site configuration
- Shading analysis
- Proximity to utilities
Detailed Electrical Design
Key to any renewable energy project is a comprehensive and realizable electrical design. Electrical design should include the following:
- Complete AC and DC design
- Battery storage system design
- Grounding design
- Equipment specifications
- Electrical site plans
- SCADA/DAS design
- Specialty design studies including arc flash, short-circuit, grounding and coordination study
- Commissioning assistance
Ensuring that your renewable energy project is planned, designed, constructed, and available for the new energy futures is paramount for success and long-term resilience. Project management considerations should:
- Coordinate with queue management with utility
- Coordinate design/construction team
- Document submission and coordination to comply with local, state, and federal codes
With a portfolio of over 500 energy projects in the past five years we have a deep base of expertise in the design, implementation, and integration of renewable energy systems. We are prepared and excited for an even brighter future in renewables propelled by advancements in technology and growing industry demands. Contact me if you want to learn more about our renewable design services for systems ranging from small, distributed generation systems to multi-megawatt utility-scale photovoltaic arrays.
The Benefits of Being Connected to Nature through Intentional Design
We know office environments have an impact on how effectively we are able to work. But how much do views matter and how should we design for views?
In Their Words: Hear From Female Student-Athletes at Northern Arizona University
Female student-athletes at Northern Arizona University reflect on the impact that facilities and equal opportunities have had on their personal journeys to collegiate athletics.
Top 7 Women’s Student-Athlete Facilities
To mark the 50th anniversary of Title IX, we’re highlighting projects that develop the whole student-athlete with a focus on competition and training, nutrition and wellbeing, and academic support.
Catbird Hotel: Reinventing Extended Stay
Aside from providing insightful, thoughtful perspectives and services, hospitality designers have a huge responsibility to create spaces that reflect the contemporary guest that is as dynamic as they are.
Semillas y Raices: The Future of Farming Communities
Architecture at Zero 2022 Merit Award winner, Semillas y Raices, models a community to meet housing demands where workers establish roots in their own space.
Integrating Technologies to Bring History to Life: A Krishna Story
We were engaged by The Cleveland Museum of Art, a long-time client, to bring to life the compelling story of a particular artifact in the archives – the “Cleveland Krishna.”