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Title: 2016 Alabama PV soft cost and workforce development

Abstract

The Southeastern US has the largest potential for growth in the solar industry. However, currently they languish behind the rest of the US. There are several bright spots including the large number of utility scale installations in North Carolina and the recent successes in South Carolina under Act 236. In order to better understand the impacts of state legislation on the growth of the solar industry in the SE US, the Savannah River National Laboratory has undertaken a study to look at the growth in each state in order to develop recommendations to help reduce the cost of solar and to spur the industry. This is the second report in the series. The first focused on developing cost metrics for South Carolina under Act 236. This report focuses on Alabama, the 49th ranked state for solar business, which has very similar population and median income to South Carolina. For this survey, the ten known in-state installers were contacted. Responses were received from seven, representing 70% of the installers, a majority of which provide both residential and commercial installations. Interestingly, none of the respondents serve the utility scale sector. Overall, costs for Alabama are on track with the rest of themore » country with a reported average cost of $3.29/W-DC for residential systems and $2.44/W-DC for commercial systems. 60% of this cost is attributed to hardware only. Of the remaining costs, installation contributed to the largest percentage of soft costs followed by overhead, marketing and sales, and permitting, respectively. This also closely mirrors results seen in South Carolina. Job growth in the industry is expected to proceed well. An expected 34-42 additional full time equivalent jobs were expected to be added in Alabama within the six month window following the survey period. During the three years following the survey, this number was expected to double with 89-97 additional jobs being added to the market. In both cases, a vast majority of these jobs were for installation professionals and electricians. Despite the cost of solar, the industry continues to struggle in Alabama, largely due to the absence of any statewide net metering legislation. By current best estimates, there are over 60 residential installations statewide; however, this number is difficult to track due to the lack of a State authority keeping a consolidated list of grid connected distributed power systems. In South Carolina, the Energy Office tracks and reports grid connected distributed power systems by all Cooperatives and utilities. In Alabama, the Energy Office does not fulfill this role and data must be collected directly from each utility and cooperative, which makes collection and analysis difficult. Having a central state agency track this information would be extremely useful towards developing state policy recommendations, particularly if net metering were enabled within the state.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1335827
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2016-00717
DOE Contract Number:  
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY

Citation Formats

Fox, E., and Edwards, T. 2016 Alabama PV soft cost and workforce development. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1335827.
Fox, E., & Edwards, T. 2016 Alabama PV soft cost and workforce development. United States. doi:10.2172/1335827.
Fox, E., and Edwards, T. Thu . "2016 Alabama PV soft cost and workforce development". United States. doi:10.2172/1335827. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1335827.
@article{osti_1335827,
title = {2016 Alabama PV soft cost and workforce development},
author = {Fox, E. and Edwards, T.},
abstractNote = {The Southeastern US has the largest potential for growth in the solar industry. However, currently they languish behind the rest of the US. There are several bright spots including the large number of utility scale installations in North Carolina and the recent successes in South Carolina under Act 236. In order to better understand the impacts of state legislation on the growth of the solar industry in the SE US, the Savannah River National Laboratory has undertaken a study to look at the growth in each state in order to develop recommendations to help reduce the cost of solar and to spur the industry. This is the second report in the series. The first focused on developing cost metrics for South Carolina under Act 236. This report focuses on Alabama, the 49th ranked state for solar business, which has very similar population and median income to South Carolina. For this survey, the ten known in-state installers were contacted. Responses were received from seven, representing 70% of the installers, a majority of which provide both residential and commercial installations. Interestingly, none of the respondents serve the utility scale sector. Overall, costs for Alabama are on track with the rest of the country with a reported average cost of $3.29/W-DC for residential systems and $2.44/W-DC for commercial systems. 60% of this cost is attributed to hardware only. Of the remaining costs, installation contributed to the largest percentage of soft costs followed by overhead, marketing and sales, and permitting, respectively. This also closely mirrors results seen in South Carolina. Job growth in the industry is expected to proceed well. An expected 34-42 additional full time equivalent jobs were expected to be added in Alabama within the six month window following the survey period. During the three years following the survey, this number was expected to double with 89-97 additional jobs being added to the market. In both cases, a vast majority of these jobs were for installation professionals and electricians. Despite the cost of solar, the industry continues to struggle in Alabama, largely due to the absence of any statewide net metering legislation. By current best estimates, there are over 60 residential installations statewide; however, this number is difficult to track due to the lack of a State authority keeping a consolidated list of grid connected distributed power systems. In South Carolina, the Energy Office tracks and reports grid connected distributed power systems by all Cooperatives and utilities. In Alabama, the Energy Office does not fulfill this role and data must be collected directly from each utility and cooperative, which makes collection and analysis difficult. Having a central state agency track this information would be extremely useful towards developing state policy recommendations, particularly if net metering were enabled within the state.},
doi = {10.2172/1335827},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {12}
}

Technical Report:

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