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Published on April 12th, 2013 | by Guest Contributor

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NREL Launches Initiative To Build Solar Performance Database



The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has launched an initiative to build an open-source database of real-world performance from solar facilities across the country. As part of DOE’s SunShot Initiative, the Open Solar Performance and Reliability Clearinghouse (O-SPaRC) will give the private market tools to develop investment vehicles to tap low-cost public capital.

“The O-SPaRC dataset will provide the market with critical data on the long-term performance of residential and commercial solar facilities,” NREL Senior Financial Analyst Michael Mendelsohn said. “This is an important step to tapping the public capital markets and offers the potential to significantly lower the cost of solar energy.”

O-SPaRC will improve access to capital by enabling credit rating agencies and potential investors to assess the underlying risk of the asset class. It will also give the private market the tools to develop investment vehicles such as asset-backed securities, master limited partnerships, real estate investment trusts, and various debt products.

The work is funded by the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Other components of the project include standardization of solar contracts via the Solar Access to Public Capital (SAPC) working group and detailed analysis of the opportunities and barriers to finance solar energy development with public capital. NREL contracted with SunSpec Alliance to build the anonymous system-performance dataset. Visit the O-SPaRC sign-up page to participate.

NREL is the US Department of Energy’s primary national laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. NREL is operated for DOE by The Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC.

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Visit NREL online at www.nrel.gov

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  • http://www.facebook.com/rhodomel.meads Rhodomel Meads

    I hope that their database includes the total land area of the facility and the total sunshine radiation that falls into that total area. This will truly measure the real efficiency. It should also include the cost of the land, whether leased or amortized, plus of course, the total cost of installation and the ongoing maintenance of the facility, the finance charges, and of course the amount of electricity generated and sold.

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