Implementation in the Design Process:
Identify the potential investment value of onsite generation to offset 2% of predicted energy use during Predesign and site selection. Evaluate and adjust building geometry and orientation for solar-based energy solutions, and investigate the viability and potential of other onsite renewable and distributed energy options. Also evaluate the proximity to nearby renewable distributed energy generation sources and the transmission potential to the site and/or the investment potential for the project.
Two options must be investigated using the LCOE calculator to achieve compliance with E.2 Renewable Energy: a solar photovoltaic (PV) option, and either a solar hot water or small wind option. Transpired solar thermal collectors may be evaluated as an second option but are not supported by the LCOE calculator. If the design team wishes to pursue this option the B3 Guidelines Team may be consulted to assist in calculating levelized cost. Each of these three technologies has its own tab in the LCOE tool. Note that ground source (geothermal) heat pumps, air source heat pumps, and passive solar energy may be desirable for the project, but do not qualify to meet the requirements of E.2.
During the Predesign phase the LCOE calculator requires a small number of inputs to perform the levelized cost of energy calculation. These inputs typically include the required yearly energy production (>/= 2% of predicted total building energy use as determined by the SB 2030 Energy Standard Tool (E.1.c)) and the yearly average fuel/electricity costs at the site (including any demand charges, delivery charges, surcharges, and fees). All other necessary inputs are generally either provided as defaults or assumptions built into the calculation cells. Input cells with default values should not be adjusted unless there is reason to adjust them. Calculation cells are locked so users cannot adjust them.
During the Design phase, locate renewable and distributed energy installation areas on plans, elevations and sections as appropriate. Investigate spatial and loading impact on site, architectural, mechanical and electrical systems and develop preliminary performance specifications for the selected technology(s). The Design and Final Design versions of the LCOE calculator require more detailed information than the predesign version, and should correspond to contractor refined performance characteristics, energy production, and cost. Outputs of the refined assumptions are uploaded in the B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool at the Design phase and updated with final estimates for Final Design phase. Identification of which system was installed will be verified at project Closeout.
There may be implications resulting from Minnesota Statute §16B.323, which states in part that the project may, “after the completion of a cost-benefit analysis, may include installation of “Made in Minnesota” solar energy systems of 40 kilowatts capacity on, adjacent, or in proximity to the state-funded building.” Additionally “The capacity of a solar system must be less than 40 kilowatts to the extent necessary to match the electrical load of the building or to the extent necessary to keep the costs for the installation below the five percent maximum…” Note that this limits the cost of “Made in Minnesota” solar that can be installed on site to no more than 5 percent of the appropriation.
Minnesota Statute §16B.326 states that “when practicable, geothermal and solar thermal heating and cooling systems must be considered when designing, planning, or letting bids for necessary replacement or initial installation of cooling or heating systems in new or existing buildings that are constructed or maintained with state funds. The Predesign review must include a written plan for compliance with this section from a project proposer. For the purposes of this section, “solar thermal” means a flat plate or evacuated tube with a fixed orientation that collects the sun’s radiant energy and transfers it to a storage medium for distribution as energy for heating and cooling.”
This section does not provide a comprehensive list of potentially relevant legislation or the full text of those statues cited. Please reference the Revisor of Statues of the State of Minnesota for full legislation text.