Solar Power and Battery Storage Project

Hi All, 

I'm working on an impact analysis for the development of a utility scale solar power project that includes a significant, integrated on-site battery storage system. The solar field construction by itself seems straight forward and I have all the necessary data to do a construction analysis. However, I'm getting stuck on the proper way to incorporate the onsite battery storage component. A lot of new solar projects have battery storage components but when looking at the intermediate inputs mix for sector 42 - Electric power generation, solar - none of the relevant commodities are included. 

My initial thought is to simply add commodity 3333 - Storage batteries to intermediate inputs, set to SAM, then normalize. Note, project soft costs are not broken out by sub-project i.e., there are line items that encompass the entire project for engineering, architectural services and so on. 

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

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  • Official comment

    Hello Johnathan! 

    Are you modeling the construction of the solar power facility as well as the operations? I ask this because Industry 42 would only be used in the case of modeling the operations of the facility, whereas the construction of the facility should be modeled under one of the new construction Industries in IMPLAN (Industry 52 - Construction of new power and communication structures). If you are modeling just the construction of this solar power plant, then this on-site battery storage system is really a capital expenditure. In that case, you would model the cost of this battery storage system as a Commodity purchase (Commodity Output Event) with the margins set to Purchaser Price.


    Hope this helps!

    Michael Nealy

  • My apologies for the confusion but that's correct, I'm modeling both construction and operations of the facility - so industry 52 for construction and 42 for operations. Thanks for the suggestion, that's how I'll plan on proceeding.

  • Hi Michael, 

    Quick follow up on this. I was re-reading through the following help article:

    If I'm following correctly, I will be using an IIA event with sector 52- Construction of new power and communication structures specified, then change the spending pattern using the detail I have from the contractor. Per the above, I would model the battery component separately as a capital purchase. However, would the actual PV modules be considered capital purchases as well and thus modeled as a separate commodity purchase? Or should they be included in the customized construction spending pattern?

  • Hello Johnathan!

    I would also model the purchases of the PV modules as Commodity Output Events in your analysis because they are a durable good that will be used again and again over time. However one important thing to consider, with both the battery components and the PV modules, is the locality of the purchases. Often times, these machinery/technology are not produced and purchased locally. If these components are not purchased locally, they should be excluded from your analysis as they are not generating local impacts. 



    Michael Nealy



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