new report out today, Photovoltaic Capacity Valuation Methods, by the
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), examines the variety of
capacity calculation methods in use, and lays the foundation for
building consensus within the solar industry, electric utility, and
“As the PV industry continues to grow rapidly in the United States, integrating renewable technologies into the utility grid management and economic valuation process is an important step in recognizing the value-added benefits that PV can contribute,” said Mike Taylor, SEPA’s Director of Research.
The new research report catalogues the different methods in existence and provides standardized case studies to examine their relationship to one another at three locations across the United States: Nevada, New York, and Oregon. The more statistically advanced methods at a 5% PV penetration show a capacity value between 60-80% in Nevada, 40-60% in New York, and 10-25% in Oregon.
By developing an agreed framework for accurately and appropriately calculating photovoltaic capacity, and by determining the risk of variation, a means will be provided for utilities and PV generators to innovate around the new economic propositions that will emerge from a recognized method. “This report represents the first step in an ongoing process between the utility and solar industries,” according to Taylor. “Additional research areas and collaborative needs were identified that will be valuable in continuing this dialogue with the utility industry.”
Photovoltaic Capacity Valuation Methods is the result of a year-long effort that included the circulation of a white paper to utility and solar stakeholders, a workshop for these stakeholders, and subsequent discussions between the authors. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and by the Solar Electric Power Association. Authors include Tom Hoff, Clean Power Research; Richard Perez, State University of New York at Albany; JP Ross, Sungevity; and Mike Taylor, Solar Electric Power Association.
A complimentary copy of the full report can be downloaded from the SEPA website.