There is growing interest in grid-connected, customer owned solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and considerable disagreement about how to determine the value of grid-
connected PV. The solar industry asserts that utilities should support customer-sited PV systems because of the high correlation between solar energy production and peaking
loads. Some utilities maintain that a utility realizes no net benefit from PV above
wholesale value of the electricity because the utility must still maintain adequate
infrastructure to meet the PV owner’s peak demand.
This paper evaluates the benefits of solar energy delivered by customer owned and sited
PV systems on a monetary basis from the utility’s perspective by examining the capacity
of the solar resource to deliver during times of high spot market prices. The analysis is
completed for the Minneapolis Saint Paul electricity market using a single PV system’s
electricity production data correlated with regional wholesale pricing data to identify
whether PV can reduce utility exposure to spot market pricing, thereby creating value to
the utility to purchase power from solar producers.
Miller, Stacy. Evaluating utility benefits of custom owned and sited photovoltaics. 11/18/2009. Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Master of Science, Science, Technology and Environmental Policy.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Science in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy degree.
Evaluating utility benefits of custom owned and sited photovoltaics.
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
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