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Title: Midmarket Solar Policies in the United States: A Guide for Midsized Solar Customers

The midscale market for solar photovoltaics (PV) has not experienced the same high growth rate as residential- or utility-scale market segments in the past five years when solar PV deployment increased rapidly. Midscale solar can be defined as behind-the-meter solar PV between 50 kilowatts and 2 megawatts adopted by multi-housing residential, commercial, industrial, non-profit, and other entities. A number of challenges face the midscale segment, including difficulties in contracting, mismatch between tenant lease and PV financing terms, high transaction costs relative to project sizes, and inefficiencies in matching prospective projects with capital. The changing policy landscape across U.S. states provides both opportunities and challenges to midmarket solar. Some states, such as California, are expanding system capacity limits for policies such as net metering, thus enabling a wider range of customers to benefit from excess generation. A number of states and utilities are making changes to rate design to introduce new or higher user fees for solar customers or reduced tariffs for net metering, which decrease the value of solar generation. An understanding of these policies relative to project feasibility and economics is important for prospective customers to make informed decisions to adopt solar PV. This guide complements existing solar policymore » resources to help potential customers navigate through the policy landscape in order to make informed decisions for their solar investment. The first part of this guide introduces the key solar policies necessary for policy-based decision-making, which involves using knowledge of a solar policy to improve project economics and efficiency. Policies that could result in policy-based decisions include interconnection standards, net metering, user fees, incentives, and third-party ownership policies. The goal of this section is to equip prospective customers and project developers with the tools necessary to understand and use solar policies in a dynamic policy environment. The second part of this guide provides a complete, state-by-state inventory of midmarket solar policies for potential customers and developers to use as reference when making policy-based decisions. Although solar policies are dynamic, the profiles provide a framework for assessing policies to build the parameters that could be used to determine feasibility and structure of a solar PV system for midmarket customers and developers.« less
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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; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY, AND ECONOMY; soft costs; solar soft costs; balance of system; solar balance of system; solar policy; mid-market solar