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Title: Water Impacts of High Solar PV Electricity Penetration

This analysis provides a detailed national and regional description of the water-related impacts and constraints of high solar electricity penetration scenarios in the U.S. in 2030 and 2050. A modified version of the Regional Energy Deployment System (ReEDS) model that incorporates water resource availability and costs as a constraint in each of its 134 Balancing Area (BA) regions was utilized to explore national and regional differences in water use impacts and solar deployment locations under different solar energy cost and water availability scenarios (Macknick et al. 2015). Water resource availability and cost data are from recently completed research at Sandia National Laboratories (Tidwell et al. 2013a). Scenarios analyzed include two business-as-usual solar energy cost cases, one with and one without considering available water resources, and four solar energy cost cases that meet the SunShot cost goals (i.e., $1/watt for utility-scale PV systems), with varying levels of water availability restrictions. This analysis provides insight into the role solar energy technologies have in the broader electricity sector under scenarios of water constraints.
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  1. National Renewable Energy Lab. (NREL), Golden, CO (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
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)
Country of Publication:
United States
14 SOLAR ENERGY; solar power; thermal electric power plants; water dependency