2020 has been a strange year for both solar project development and the deployment of utility-scale solar projects. The markets for utility-scale solar are based on project size and tenders. Community Choice Aggregation, shorter-term utility scale projects, and firmed up power purchase agreements that are shaped to match the load are also a trend. Projects are getting bigger, kWh prices are flat or declining, and construction cost is declining.
Top 4 Utility-Scale Solar States
The top 4 states for utility-scale solar are as follows.
Power Purchase Agreement Prices & Levelized Cost of Energy
Over time, PPA prices for utility-scale solar have fallen. In the years since 2013, PPA prices have fallen by about $10/MWh each year. This decrease in levelized PPA prices is the result of lower installed project prices and improving capacity factors. Although PPA prices are declining, solar remains in competition with wind power and natural gas in the renewable energy market.
The Wholesale Market Value of Solar
In markets like California, which is the most popular solar state in the country, the wholesale market value of solar has declined, to some extent, following a similar trend to PPA prices. This is due to an abundance of solar energy, given the huge popularity of solar in California. In other, less PV abundant markets, however, solar still offers high value along with similar, or even lower, PPA prices than California.
Solar-plus-storage is a growing sector within the solar industry and the renewable energy industry in general. The addition of an energy storage system alongside a solar installation can boost the value of solar. In terms of the size of a battery storage system, this varies in relation to solar capacity depending on the specific PV system in question. Energy storage is compensated in a variety of innovative ways within a PPA. Given that solar-plus-storage is becoming more and more cost effective, more developers are offering upgrades to standard solar PV systems which incorporate battery storage.
To develop your own solar project, of any size, get in touch with YSG Solar today. Send us an email, or call at 212.389.9215 and we will discuss the ideal project for your specific energy needs. What’s more, we’ll ensure maximum savings for your project, using all the incentives & rebates available to you.
YSG Solar is a project development vehicle responsible for commoditizing energy infrastructure projects. We work with long-term owners and operators to provide clean energy assets with stable, predictable cash flows. YSG's market focus is distributed generation and utility-scale projects located within North America.