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Title: Economic Competitiveness of U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics Systems in 2015: Regional Cost Modeling of Installed Cost ($/W) and LCOE ($/kWh)

Utility-scale photovoltaics (PV) system growth is largely driven by the economic metrics of total installed costs and levelized cost of electricity (LCOE), which differ by region. This study details regional cost factors, including environment (wind speed and snow loads), labor costs, material costs, sales taxes, and permitting costs using a new system-level bottom-up cost modeling approach. We use this model to identify regional all-in PV installed costs for fixed-tilt and one-axis tracker systems in the United States with consideration of union and non-union labor costs in 2015. LCOEs using those regional installed costs are then modeled and spatially presented. Finally, we assess the cost reduction opportunities of increasing module conversion efficiencies on PV system costs in order to indicate the possible economic impacts of module technology advancements and help future research and development (R&D) effects in the context of U.S. SunShot targets.
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Conference: Presented at the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana; Related Information: Proceedings of the 2015 IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (PVSC), 14-19 June 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana
Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
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; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; balance of system (BoS); bottom-up cost model; LCOE; photovoltaic system cost modeling; PPA; soft cost; solar energy; SunShot; utility-scale PV