Integrating Solar into Energy Efficiency Projects: Just Squeeze and Bake
Integrating solar into energy efficiency projects can be far more challenging than expected, adding complexity to energy balancing, calculating savings, project financing, and contracting. At the same time, solar has its unique challenges - including state regulations, array location, utilities, O&M, and M&V. Our own project experiences show these obstacles can lead to years of delay in implementation. Often, for a single day, the cost of waiting can surpass thousands of dollars and more than a metric ton of CO2 offset.
By breaking down these common challenges and reviewing real-world examples, one can optimize successful and time-effective energy efficiency measures with distribution-level solar projects. The mistakes we made in the past have become valuable lessons learned that inform our approach going forward.
From the onset, projects must ensure the relevant owner representatives are informed, that performance goals are clearly stated, and financing strategies vetted. Evaluation of local regulations should be performed before beginning formal development of the project. Finalizing the site selection should be prioritized, otherwise tasks will be repeated. And before losing momentum in what can become a complicated mess, keep the simple big picture benefits front-and-center of the owner’s mind.
Since joining Entegrity in 2013, Parker has played a fundamental role in the development of more than $100 million in performance contracting. As Director of Energy Services at Entegrity, Parker and his team are responsible for execution of commissioning, building testing, energy assessments, and all Energy Services. His primary responsibility is to work with Entegrity engineers and clients to efficiently guide projects from opportunity to reality.
Parker is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE), a Certified Energy Manager (CEM), and a graduate of the University of Arkansas College of Engineering, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Locally, Parker is involved in many community organizations and is a graduate of Class XXXV of Leadership Greater Little Rock.