UL Solutions HOMER® Front Software adds frequency regulation modeling for utility-scale battery storage

UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, announced the release of the new 1.0 version of HOMER® Front software, adding expanded performance and financial forecasting capabilities to the subscription-based online application for designing, optimizing and maximizing the revenue and return on investment of complex utility-scale energy storage, solar, wind and hybrid systems.

With the new capabilities in HOMER Front software version 1.0, battery energy storage system (BESS) stakeholders can model most electricity markets worldwide, including frequency regulation, capacity markets, real-time energy markets, and contractual power purchase agreements with specific time-of-delivery obligations.

Power plant owners and operators increasingly rely on frequency regulation to balance electricity supply and demand, stabilize voltage frequency and prevent power outages — particularly as more renewable energy generation is deployed. BESS stores and dispatches these variable energy resources to provide frequency regulation. This ancillary service represents a significant additional revenue stream for energy storage projects — whether as standalone or hybrid systems that include solar and wind. Recent valuations sized the ancillary services market at $7.6276 billion (USD) in 2020, with a projected $13.044 billion (USD) by 2028, a compound annual growth of nearly 8%.1

“Developers told us they needed a way to perform quick, easy, but detailed modeling of frequency regulation as a revenue stream, and spreadsheets are not adequate. By quickly performing complex operations, HOMER Front software provides a better tool to help develop reliable performance and financial forecasts. We’re delighted to introduce v1.0 to empower system developers to save time, maximize project value and be confident in the results, especially when pursuing project financing,” said Chakradhar Byreddy, director of the Renewables group at UL Solutions.

The software bases the value of frequency regulation on a user-selected energy futures price strip — a financial instrument that locks in energy prices for specific time frames and is readily available through trusted online databases. The user enters the maximum energy capacity that can be reserved for frequency regulation and the minimum price required for participation. HOMER Front software then simulates real-time bidding behavior, committing energy capacity to various markets and maximizing revenue within user-defined constraints.

“The user decides at what price it’s worth participating in frequency regulation services and can run a sensitivity analysis to find the right price point to maximize revenue potential. These are powerful tools that help our users customize dispatch strategies and see the techno-economic implications in real time,” said Byreddy.

As a web-based application, HOMER Front software eliminates download and installation and can be used on most operating systems. The simple, intuitive user interface enables robust modeling for multiple revenue streams, system size, battery dispatch and augmentation strategies. Sensitivity analysis helps users evaluate technical and financial performance as key parameters fluctuate — such as solar irradiance, wind speeds or energy market prices. Version 1.0 includes support for all major monetary currencies. The new integrated, customizable battery library gives users more control over which battery they model and provides detailed inputs needed to replicate commercially available batteries.

Originally developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, HOMER software has performed project calculations globally.