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Title: Solar-plus-storage economics: What works where, and why?

Abstract

This paper explores the economics of solar-plus-storage projects for commercial-scale, behind-the-meter applications. It provides insight into the near-term and future solar-plus-storage market opportunities across the U.S. We explore the impacts of location, building load profile, technology cost, utility rate structure, and policies on solar-plus-storage economic viability, and identify which factors are most significant to project economics. While savings from storage-only projects are largely derived from demand charge reductions, solar combined with storage also provides significant energy charge savings. A common assumption is that load profiles with peaks are likely candidates for savings from storage, due to the opportunity for demand charge reduction. Our results indicate that potential for savings from combining solar with storage is independent of building load variability, likely due to the energy cost reductions from the solar. Systems are more often economical under time of use and demand charge rates, particularly when demand charges are >$10 per kilowatt. Where systems were found to be economical, expected lifetime savings averaged between 7%-10%, with savings of 30% in numerous cases. Near term markets exist for solar-plus-storage in locations such as California and New York. As technology prices drop, the number of building types that can benefit increase, and additionalmore » markets appear in Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska. All data from the study and interactive modeling results are available at: https://openei.org/wiki/Solar+Storage.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
OSTI Identifier:
1493868
Report Number(s):
NREL/JA-6A20-73231
Journal ID: ISSN 1040-6190
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC36-08GO28308
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Electricity Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 32; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 1040-6190
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
25 ENERGY STORAGE; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; solar-plus-storage; battery storage; electricity markets; energy charges; demand charges; utility tariffs

Citation Formats

McLaren, Joyce, Laws, Nick, Anderson, Kate, DiOrio, Nick, and Miller, Hannah. Solar-plus-storage economics: What works where, and why?. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.tej.2019.01.006.
McLaren, Joyce, Laws, Nick, Anderson, Kate, DiOrio, Nick, & Miller, Hannah. Solar-plus-storage economics: What works where, and why?. United States. doi:10.1016/j.tej.2019.01.006.
McLaren, Joyce, Laws, Nick, Anderson, Kate, DiOrio, Nick, and Miller, Hannah. Sat . "Solar-plus-storage economics: What works where, and why?". United States. doi:10.1016/j.tej.2019.01.006. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1493868.
@article{osti_1493868,
title = {Solar-plus-storage economics: What works where, and why?},
author = {McLaren, Joyce and Laws, Nick and Anderson, Kate and DiOrio, Nick and Miller, Hannah},
abstractNote = {This paper explores the economics of solar-plus-storage projects for commercial-scale, behind-the-meter applications. It provides insight into the near-term and future solar-plus-storage market opportunities across the U.S. We explore the impacts of location, building load profile, technology cost, utility rate structure, and policies on solar-plus-storage economic viability, and identify which factors are most significant to project economics. While savings from storage-only projects are largely derived from demand charge reductions, solar combined with storage also provides significant energy charge savings. A common assumption is that load profiles with peaks are likely candidates for savings from storage, due to the opportunity for demand charge reduction. Our results indicate that potential for savings from combining solar with storage is independent of building load variability, likely due to the energy cost reductions from the solar. Systems are more often economical under time of use and demand charge rates, particularly when demand charges are >$10 per kilowatt. Where systems were found to be economical, expected lifetime savings averaged between 7%-10%, with savings of 30% in numerous cases. Near term markets exist for solar-plus-storage in locations such as California and New York. As technology prices drop, the number of building types that can benefit increase, and additional markets appear in Colorado, New Mexico, and Alaska. All data from the study and interactive modeling results are available at: https://openei.org/wiki/Solar+Storage.},
doi = {10.1016/j.tej.2019.01.006},
journal = {Electricity Journal},
issn = {1040-6190},
number = 1,
volume = 32,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}

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