SEIN: Breaking Barriers Resilient Energy System Analysis

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) is a collaborative research program that supports multi-stakeholder teams in researching and sharing solutions to real-world challenges associated with solar energy adoption. The Breaking Barriers project was selected to participate in the Solar Energy Innovation Network, Round 2, and was led by Groundswell, a D.C.-based clean energy project developer. The Breaking Barriers team included Partnership for Southern Equity, Atlanta University Center campus facility managers and professors, the City of Atlanta's Neighborhood Planning Unit T, and Georgia Power Company. The project aimed to design and construct innovative urban energy resiliency hubs integrating microgrid technology, solar generation, and energy storage in Atlanta colleges and communities. The hubs will help these historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and the energy-burdened broader community in West Atlanta be more resilient, in addition to informing new course curricula at Atlanta University Center campuses. With many possible options for the system's battery size, the Breaking Barriers team needed insight into the relationships between BESS size, economic performance, and resilience at Spelman College's Manley Center. These insights are crucial for entering procurement negotiations with project developers, establishing resilience capabilities that the HBCU campuses can plan around, and guiding the team's fundraising targets. This analysis includes estimates of PV and battery performance, costs, savings, and resilience for multiple battery sizes. In order to provide power during a grid outage, the resilient energy system also needs to be connected to the Manley Center in a safe and island-able manner (electrically isolated from the grid). Analysis of potential electrical configurations and estimated setup costs is key to successfully entering a required interconnection agreement with Georgia Power, as well as informing requests for engineering firms to construct the system. This analysis includes conceptual options and rough order of magnitude cost estimates for electrically interconnecting the resilient energy system to the Manley Center and the grid. The Breaking Barriers team used this analysis to select preferred system characteristics and design for the resilient energy system.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages87
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-81623


  • analysis
  • Atlanta
  • Groundswell
  • HBCU
  • interconnection options
  • microgrid
  • Morehouse
  • outage survivability
  • REopt
  • resilience
  • SEIN
  • solar
  • Solar Energy Innovation Network
  • Spelman
  • storage
  • underserved communities


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