In 2021, after declaring a climate emergency, the City of Dayton set a goal to purchase 100% renewable electricity for municipal operations by 2035. The City identified two potential locations for behind-the-meter solar adjacent to the Miami Water Treatment Plant and Water Reclamation Facility. Solar would produce local renewable energy and reduce the City’s carbon footprint with a potential economic benefit. Thus, the City hired Go to conduct a feasibility study to advise on engaging the market.
First, we analyzed how the sites consume electricity and how they are billed. This developed a “business-as-usual” case for energy and economic performance. Next, we researched, reviewed, and documented the technical, physical, and regulatory factors that would most significantly influence array sizing, project economics, and potential project success. With input from City stakeholders, we produced multiple solar installation scenarios to model against the business-as-usual case. Finally, we reviewed and documented the plausibility of different implementation options.
The City’s sites have ample area to generate energy multiple times greater than the energy use at the adjacent facilities. However, the City’s ability to offset 100% or more of each site’s energy usage is significantly limited by regulatory and economic realities such as behind-the-meter net metering limitations and the site’s capability to fully monetize complex utility-scale billing economics from capacity and transmission. We were able to recommend paths for solar arrays that could offset about 30% of the electricity used at each site with neutral to positive economics under a third-party power purchase agreement (PPA).
We presented our findings to City stakeholders. Doing their due diligence, these stakeholders posed important clarifying questions and spent significant time understanding the complexities and opportunities found within our study. The City is actively considering whether to solicit pricing for these solar projects from the market.
Renewable Energy Consultant, Technical Advisor
ClientCity of Dayton