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E – 1915 NREL Distributed Solar and Building Energy Systems


This online engineering PDH course describes how building energy systems represent a significant and largely untapped demand-side grid resource. Building energy technologies—including energy-efficient devices, flexible loads, and energy storage—can be coordinated and aggregated to perform similar functions as centralized grid assets. In addition, building energy technologies enable the deployment of distributed solar photovoltaics (DPV). The term distributed solar broadly refers to energy produced by solar panels installed on various rooftops in a (possibly large) geographic area, in contrast to concentrated solar, which refers to energy produced by utility-scale solar power plants. Together, DPV and building energy technologies could help grids achieve deep decarbonization more quickly and cost-effectively.

This course is based on the following document:

O’Shaughnessy, and Monisha Shah. 2021. The Demand-Side Opportunity: The Roles of Distributed Solar and Building Energy Systems in a Decarbonized Grid. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-6A20-80527.TP-6A20-80527. https://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy21osti/80527.pdf.

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