In November 2011, a utility-scale solar array became operational in the most unlikely of places: at Brookhaven National Laboratory on densely populated Long Island, New York. Now the largest utility-scale solar power plant in the eastern United States, the Long Island Solar Farm is a remarkable success story whereby very different interest groups capitalized on unusual circumstances to develop a mutually beneficial source of renewable energy.
IREC first developed Model Interconnection Procedures in 2005 in an effort to capture emerging best practices in this vital area. Several important evolutions in best practices are synthesized into the 2013 Model Interconnection Procedures, last updated in 2009.
The important advances incorporated into these model procedures include:
This paper explores the possibility of financing renewable energy projects through raising capital in the public markets. It gives an overview of the size, structure, and benefits of public capital markets, as well as showing how renewable energy projects might take advantage of this source of new funds to lower the cost of electricity.
State and local policymakers show increasing interest in spurring the development of customer-sited distributed generation (DG), in particular solar photovoltaic (PV) markets. Prompted by that interest, this analysis examines the use of state policy as a tool to support the development of a robust private investment market. This analysis builds on previous studies that focus on government subsidies to reduce installation costs of individual projects and provides an evaluation of the impacts of policies on stimulating private market development.
Over the last several years, solar energy technologies have been, or are in the process of being, deployed at unprecedented levels. A critical recent development, resulting from the massive scale of projects in progress or recently completed, is having the power sold directly to electric utilities. Such 'utility-scale' systems offer the opportunity to deploy solar technologies far faster than the traditional 'behind-the-meter' projects designed to offset retail load.
The Guide is intended to provide guidance specifically to regional planning organizations on the unique roles they can play to move solar energy deployment forward in their regions. By focusing on case studies and regionally-specific tools, the Guide seeks to be a practical and applicable resource for taking full advantage of the opportunities in regional solar energy deployment.
To stimulate investment in renewable energy generation projects, the federal government developed a series of support structures that reduce taxes for eligible investors--the investment tax credit, the production tax credit, and accelerated depreciation. The nature of these tax incentives often requires an outside investor and a complex financial arrangement to allocate risk and reward among the parties.
Utility-scale solar projects have grown rapidly in number and size over the last few years, driven in part by strong renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and federal incentives designed to stimulate investment in renewable energy technologies. This report provides an overview of such policies, as well as the project financial structures they enable, based on industry literature, publicly available data, and questionnaires conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Solar markets are booming in the United States due to strong consumer demand and financial incentives from the federal government, states and utilities. Over 124,000 new solar heating, cooling, and solar electric installations were completed in 2010, an increase of 22% compared to the number of systems installed in 2009. The capacity of these installations is 981 MWDC for electricity production and 814 MWTH for thermal heating. The majority of the market share for each solar technology is concentrated in a few states.