Data and Tools

NREL collects data sets and develop tools to aid in the analysis and adoption of solar energy.

Also, see the list of all NREL’s solar data and tools.

Annual Technology Baseline

Provides a consistent set of technology cost and performance data for energy analysis.

Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool

Contains economic, cash-flow models designed to assess project economics, design cost-based incentives, and evaluate the impact of state and federal support structures on renewable energy.

Distributed Generation Market Demand Model

Simulates customer adoption of distributed energy resources for residential, commercial, and industrial entities in the United States or other countries through 2050.

Distribution Grid Integration Unit Cost Database

Contains unit cost information for different components that may be used to integrate distributed solar PV onto distribution systems.

PVWatts Calculator

Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected PV energy systems throughout the world. It allows homeowners, small building owners, installers and manufacturers to easily develop estimates of the performance of potential PV installations.

Regional Energy Deployment System Model

NREL's flagship capacity planning model for the power sector. It simulates the evolution of the bulk power system—generation and transmission—from present day through 2050 or later.


Online platform helps local governments streamline the solar permitting process by reviewing installer submitted residential solar project applications and providing instant approval for code-compliant projects.

System Advisor Model

A free techno-economic software model that facilitates decision-making for people in the renewable energy industry. It can model many types of renewable energy systems, including PV systems, from small residential rooftop to large utility-scale systems, and battery storage systems.

Standardized Contracts and Securitization Resources

NREL’s standard contracts and securitization resources include example contracts, operation and maintenance guides, and a mock filing with ratings agencies for PV systems.