PV Stormwater Management Research and Testing (PV-SMaRT): Final Technical Report

James McCall, Jennifer Daw, Megan Day, Jake Galzki, Aaron Hanson, David Mulla, Brian Ross

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The objective of the Photovoltaic Stormwater Management Research and Testing (PV-SMaRT) project was to develop and disseminate research-based, solar-specific resources for estimating stormwater runoff at ground-mounted PV facilities and detail stormwater management and water quality best practices. The intended use of stormwater management and water quality best practices and stormwater runoff estimation resources is to reduce balance of system soft costs associated with stormwater infrastructure requirements and improve water quality through research-tested best practices. Currently, stormwater regulations and guidelines vary by jurisdiction and can lead to regulatory uncertainty and increased compliance costs for managing stormwater runoff at solar sites. To address these concerns, the NREL team and its partners (University of Minnesota, Great Plains Institute, and Fresh Energy) established and engaged an advisory Water Quality Task Force (WQTF); conducted field research on stormwater infiltration and runoff at five ground-mounted PV sites; validated a 3-D hydrologic model to predict water runoff and generate stormwater runoff coefficients for a range of site conditions and PV designs; developed a stormwater management and water quality best practices document; and engaged with local jurisdictions and other stakeholders to disseminate best practices, stormwater runoff coefficients, and other tools. Key outputs of this project were a PV-SMaRT Runoff Calculator developed by University of Minnesota, a webinar detailing project outcomes and how to use the PV-SMaRT runoff calculator, and a document on Best Practices for regulators and developers regarding stormwater runoff at PV sites.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages26
StatePublished - 2023

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-87555


  • photovoltaic
  • stormwater
  • water quality


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