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Title: Utility-Scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States

Abstract

The utility-scale solar sector—defined here to include any ground-mounted photovoltaic (“PV”), concentrating photovoltaic (“CPV”), or concentrating solar power (“CSP”) project that is larger than 5 MWAC in capacity—has led the overall U.S. solar market in terms of installed capacity since 2012. It is expected to maintain its market-leading position for at least another five years, driven in part by December 2015’s three-year extension of the 30% federal investment tax credit (“ITC”) through 2019 (coupled with a favorable switch to a “start construction” rather than a “placed in service” eligibility requirement, and a gradual phase down of the credit to 10% by 2022). In fact, in 2016 alone, the utility-scale sector is projected to install more than twice as much new capacity as it ever has previously in a single year. This unprecedented boom makes it difficult, yet more important than ever, to stay abreast of the latest utility-scale market developments and trends. This report—the fourth edition in an ongoing annual series—is intended to help meet this need, by providing in-depth, annually updated, data-driven analysis of the utility-scale solar project fleet in the United States. Drawing on empirical project-level data from a wide range of sources, this report analyzes not justmore » installed project costs or prices—i.e., the traditional realm of most solar economic analyses—but also operating costs, capacity factors, and power purchase agreement (“PPA”) prices from a large sample of utility-scale solar projects throughout the United States. Given its current dominance in the market, utility-scale PV also dominates much of this report, though data from CPV and CSP projects are also presented where appropriate.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States). Environmental Energy Technologies Division
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1342230
Report Number(s):
LBNL-1006037
ir:1006037
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-05CH11231
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English

Citation Formats

Bolinger, Mark, and Seel, Joachim. Utility-Scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1342230.
Bolinger, Mark, & Seel, Joachim. Utility-Scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States. United States. doi:10.2172/1342230.
Bolinger, Mark, and Seel, Joachim. Wed . "Utility-Scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States". United States. doi:10.2172/1342230. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1342230.
@article{osti_1342230,
title = {Utility-Scale Solar 2015: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States},
author = {Bolinger, Mark and Seel, Joachim},
abstractNote = {The utility-scale solar sector—defined here to include any ground-mounted photovoltaic (“PV”), concentrating photovoltaic (“CPV”), or concentrating solar power (“CSP”) project that is larger than 5 MWAC in capacity—has led the overall U.S. solar market in terms of installed capacity since 2012. It is expected to maintain its market-leading position for at least another five years, driven in part by December 2015’s three-year extension of the 30% federal investment tax credit (“ITC”) through 2019 (coupled with a favorable switch to a “start construction” rather than a “placed in service” eligibility requirement, and a gradual phase down of the credit to 10% by 2022). In fact, in 2016 alone, the utility-scale sector is projected to install more than twice as much new capacity as it ever has previously in a single year. This unprecedented boom makes it difficult, yet more important than ever, to stay abreast of the latest utility-scale market developments and trends. This report—the fourth edition in an ongoing annual series—is intended to help meet this need, by providing in-depth, annually updated, data-driven analysis of the utility-scale solar project fleet in the United States. Drawing on empirical project-level data from a wide range of sources, this report analyzes not just installed project costs or prices—i.e., the traditional realm of most solar economic analyses—but also operating costs, capacity factors, and power purchase agreement (“PPA”) prices from a large sample of utility-scale solar projects throughout the United States. Given its current dominance in the market, utility-scale PV also dominates much of this report, though data from CPV and CSP projects are also presented where appropriate.},
doi = {10.2172/1342230},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Aug 17 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Wed Aug 17 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

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