Selecting the right site for your project is a prerequisite for success. UL uses site screening tools, feasibility studies and field assessments to determine resource potential and identify new opportunities for solar and wind energy development. These essential tools allow your team to mitigate risk and navigate complexities in the early phase of project development to help ensure long-term success.
Desktop site screening
We have developed tools to support fast and effective screening for wind, offshore wind and solar project sites. Typically, the process considers the following factors:
- Wind and solar resources
- Buildable area
- Transmission lines
- Important siting parameters
When it comes to selecting a site, there is no substitute for site visits. Our field engineers can work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions and data used in the initial site screening, and address issues such as:
- Road and transmission access
- Potential visual and noise concerns
- Issues of cultural, environmental, historical, or other community sensitivity
- Possible wind or solar monitoring locations, including site coordinates, access, and surroundings
- Cellular telephone service reliability for automated data downloading
A feasibility study allows you to weigh the potential risks and rewards in developing a project before making large investments in monitoring and other project development activities. A typical study will include some or all of the following elements:
- Preliminary resource assessment based on available resource maps and data
- Preliminary layout, turbine selection, and energy production estimate
- Technical feasibility and technology options
- Potential environmental concerns such as visual and noise impact and threats to endangered species
- Regulatory requirements and challenges
- Interconnection options
- Potential challenges for community acceptance
- Cost and revenue projections and financial pro forma
We empower trust in wind and solar energy by helping our stakeholders mitigate risk and navigate complexities throughout the project lifecycle and across the value chain.
Wind site screening and feasibility
Our software can screen large regions for attractive sites and produce a ranked list with characteristics such as estimated capacity factor and rated capacity. Or if you prefer, you can perform your own screening using Windnavigator.
Offshore wind site screening and feasibility
Under a DOE funded initiative, UL (formerly AWS Truepower) was instrumental in developing an online data center for offshore renewable energy. The data center was developed to provide offshore wind energy stakeholders and other marine renewable energy interests with information about available met-ocean datasets for the United States and related multi-sector collaborative activities to improve the quantity and quality of, and access to, met-ocean data. Included is a searchable database of various met-ocean data sets. Visit the US Met-Ocean Data Center.
Solar site screening and feasibility
When multiple sites are under consideration, the calculated cost of energy, load matching quality, and other factors play a part in rankings. These comprehensive assessments provide developers with a better understanding of parcel value and help prioritize next steps.
Using our solar resource maps and observational data, GIS layers (including land cover, land use, and development exclusions), and an understanding of your project objectives, we can help identify and assess your siting options. This initial screening is usually followed by site visits by our field engineers, who will work with your team to ground-truth the assumptions, obtain additional information, and select places to install solar monitoring stations to characterize the resource.