Abstract

The decreasing cost of implementation and increasing regulatory incentive to lower energy use have led to an increased adoption of distributed energy resources in recent years. This increased adoption has been further fueled by a surge in energy consciousness and the expansion of energy-saving products and technologies. To lower reliance on the electrical grid and fully realize the benefits of distributed energy resources, many consumers have also elected to use battery systems to store generated energy. For owners of multiple buildings, or multiple owners willing to share the operational cost, building clusters may be formed to more effectively take advantage of these distributed resources and storage systems. The implementation of these systems in existing buildings introduces the question of what makes a “good” building cluster. Furthermore, the scalable nature of distributed energy sources and storage systems create countless possibilities for system configuration. Through comparison of unique two-building clusters from a stock of five buildings with a given distributed energy resource (in this case, a solar photovoltaic panel array) and energy storage system, we develop a fundamental understanding of the underlying factors that allow building clusters to be less reliant on the utility grid and make better use of energy generation and storage systems.

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