UL releases new utility-scale energy storage design software

UL has announced the release of HOMER Front, a licensable web-based software platform for designing and optimizing complex utility-scale energy storage systems, both stand-alone and in conjunction with solar or wind power.

By providing accurate, detailed results for a variety of system configurations, UL’s HOMER Front enables developers and funders to evaluate the performance of an energy system and make critical project decisions to advance the implementation of energy storage projects worldwide.

Equipped with robust battery distribution modeling and an intuitive user interface, HOMER Front performs technical and economic analysis that helps developers maximize the revenues of their energy storage or hybrid project. The software allows users to quickly test and analyze the size, architecture and technology of wind, solar and battery projects. In combination, HOMER Front users can optimize battery augmentation strategies to participate in energy and capacity markets and meet off-contract requirements.

HOMER Front addresses a critical need as renewable energy project developers worldwide face increased competition and a growing demand for reliable clean energy supplies. By adding storage to their projects, developers can provide shippable power, increase revenue, bolster system reliability, and support decarbonization goals.

“By providing accurate, detailed results for a variety of system configurations, HOMER Front enables developers and funders to evaluate system performance and make critical project decisions with confidence,” said Colin Tareila, Renewables engineering manager in the Asset and Sustainability UL Performance Group. “We are very pleased with the significant benefits we have seen HOMER Front bring through our work on UL’s consulting projects and feedback from early adopters of the software. The capabilities will help advance the implementation of energy storage projects around the world.”

Key value streams for U.S. and global markets that rely on energy wholesalers, capacity markets, and power purchase agreements — including California Independent System Operator (CAISO) and Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) — are modeled in the software.

HOMER Front is built on the HOMER software platform, the long-standing standard for modeling, optimizing and designing micro-grids with the lowest cost and distributed energy resources behind the meter. As the first web-based application of HOMER software, HOMER Front eliminates the need for download and installation, enabling use on any operating system by global teams and increasing computing power.

With HOMER Front, energy developers in the US, Canada, Europe, Asia, Oceania and Latin America gain an in-depth economic understanding of utility-scale systems, including:

  • Optimal sizing of energy storage in utility-scale systems
  • Battery capacity degradation and augmentation strategies to maximize revenue and minimize costs
  • Income stack analysis of:
  • Wholesale energy markets with hourly and sub-hourly prices
  • Capacity markets such as resource adequacy in the CAISO market
  • Power purchase agreements, including design or delivery time of capacity injection
  • Robust sensitivity analysis to screen projects for economic viability and internal risk mitigation

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