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Cuyahoga Falls Electric System – Municipal Utility Solar and Energy Storage Consulting
Cuyahoga Falls Electric System – Municipal Utility Solar and Energy Storage Consulting

The Need

Cuyahoga Falls Electric System (CFES) is Ohio’s 6th largest municipal electric distribution utility. Go has provided technical assistance to CFES as it supports its customers with energy management through innovative programs, such as energy efficiency incentives, since 2014.

Solar Consulting

In 2020, responding to interest from the citizens that it serves, CFES began exploring the potential to integrate onsite solar into their system. The primary drivers behind the initiative were:

  • Educating community members as they consider solar on their homes and businesses.

  • Promoting energy and solar education for the local school district.

  • Economic investment opportunities.

Energy Storage Consulting

In 2022, expanding on their experience with solar integration to their system, CFES began investigating the benefits of battery energy storage systems (BESS) within their electric grid. This exploration was focused on:

  • Analyzing a range of savings and revenue scenarios from the BESS such as capacity and transmission savings, demand response revenues, and ancillary services revenues.

  • Examining potential contract models and their influence on the economic prospects of the project.

Our Approach


We helped CFES stakeholders define the project goals, constraints, and drivers. Next, we performed a preliminary solar economic analysis and a regulatory review, which suggested that CFES could generate positive cash flow through several types of potential installations financed through third-party power purchase agreements (PPA). We also identified and quantified the significant economic drivers for these projects, which included lowering CFES peak loads (both the Peak Load Contribution (PLC) for PJM and the Network Service Peak Load (NSPL) for the ATSI transmission zone), the value of the project’s Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), and the wholesale market value of the solar energy.

We worked with CFES to identify viable City-owned locations with a range of potential solar sizes based on available roof space, parking area, and land. Each site also had the potential to interconnect behind the facility’s meter or directly into CFES’ distribution infrastructure. Finally, we helped the CFES team develop and write an RFP that contained several options for the solar array sizing and location as well as the option to couple the solar with battery storage. We provided technical assistance during the vendor proposal review process and assisted CFES in scoring the vendor bids.

Energy Storage

First, we helped CFES stakeholders define the project goals and develop an initial understanding of BESS’ potential in their system. We investigated relevant case studies to develop a framework of understanding. This included a preliminary solar economic analysis, which highlighted how the BESS could be used to engage the market and identified the significant economic drivers of the project.

Next, we worked with CFES to create a request for information (RFI) to engage the market in answering pressing questions. The RFI focused on identifying specifics of BESS’ value creation strategies, contract structures, design considerations, and specific information needed to engage the market through a request for proposals (RFP). We provided technical assistance during the RFI response review process and helped conduct interviews with respondents.

The Results


One of our goals for the RFP was to leverage the expertise of solar vendors by allowing optionality and creativity in their submissions. We were excited when we received several compelling alternate bids that expanded our collective understanding of the project potential and current technology options. CFES is still actively considering solar within their municipal footprint, but is now also engaging larger, offsite regional solar projects as part of their long-term energy procurement strategy.

Energy Storage

The RFI responses greatly enhanced our collective understanding of how a BESS project could benefit the CFES electric grid and what project options would best suit their needs. We also gained insights into:

  • The relative scale of each of the value streams a BESS can access.

  • How nuances of different contract styles would impact CFES’s economics, logistics, and benefits.

CFES is still actively considering storage within their system.

Our Role

Renewable Energy and Energy Storage Consultant, Technical Advisor

The Client

Cuyahoga Falls Electric System




Charles Schreier, PE

Milena Walwer

Peter Worley

Tommy Tappel

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