The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Mid-Size Solar PV Installations Accounting for over 60% of US Project Pipeline

The trend for U.S. solar PV projects in the mid-size range (100 kW to 2 MW) has been changing considerably, from individual installations (on municipal or school buildings, for example) to multi-site projects. As opposed to previous single-site developments, project master plans now embrace the bigger picture, outlining the needs of an entire town, county, or school district. Typically, contracts cover everything from development to operations and maintenance of the system for up to 25 years, often with no cost to the host for installation.

Also, while previously there were often contingency plans to extend projects in later years, this is rarely discussed now, unless part of a larger plan already in development. Once an installer is on-site, the aim is to get as much power as possible, to complete the project quickly, and to reap the benefits with a steady return on investment.

Enthusiasm for mid-size range PV installations developed and owned by a third party is particularly strong for municipalities and educational institutions. Because many cities, government entities, and schools are unable to take advantage of tax breaks, developers have been quick to step in with third-party ownership in states where such ownership models are allowed. In such a model, the host leases space to the developer and pays no upfront cost for the solar installation. Electricity is received through a power purchase order at a fixed or fluctuating rate as determined by the contract. The developer then owns and maintains the system, and claims the tax incentives.

The new ownership models and increasing scope for PV projects have developed in parallel. Now, rather than a city/municipality looking at each site as an individual project, such as a library on one side of town and a fire station on the other, these projects are being looked at as one master project, meaning bigger overall projects/contracts, even though each PV array is similarly sized and located at different sites. This type of project can help bring down soft costs as multiple arrays can be bid out as one project and installers can capitalize somewhat on economies of scale when purchasing components.

These models are also leading to the emergence of community-based solar, where community members can purchase ‘shares’ of a PV project to offset their own electricity use even though they are not able to act as hosts. As more areas begin to allow this type of ownership there is a significant potential for further growth in the mid-size project pipeline. In many ways, this is a brand new growth opportunity for the downstream PV market as customers that might be interested in solar, but unable to install it due to living style (e.g. apartment buildings), will be able to invest and in larger-scale systems.

Source: US Deal Tracker

This article was originally published on NPD Solarbuzz and was republished with permission.

 

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Listen Up: Vampires Sucking Power from your House

Barry Cinnamon Here’s a nightmare for you: at night, when you’re asleep and you think things are quiet, there are vampires sucking power out of your house and increasing your electric bill. The fact of the matter is that every plugged in ...

Hawaiian PV Solar Developers Anxious over PUC Decision on 220 MW of Solar Power for the State

Andrew Burger Project developers in Hawai'i eagerly anticipate a Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decision on seven utility-scale solar PV installations with a total capacity of some 220 MWac. Though unconfirmed, word is that the Hawai'...

Why the Future of the Yieldco Is at Risk

Haresh Patel In the past two years, the proliferation of YieldCos, and their ability to open new sources of capital for renewable energy projects, has captured the attention of the energy industry. While a YieldCo’s potential to catalyz...
As an analyst of market activity and emerging trends for the rapidly-expanding downstream PV segment in the US, Christine Beadle leads research efforts for the United States Deal Tracker and contributes to a comprehensive database resource for all...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Grid-connected and Off-grid Photovoltaics

This training covers all aspects of planning, installation, maintenance,...

2015 Green Energy Expo

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the Green Energy Expo in Mexico City!

2015 Intersolar-South America

Canadian Solar will be exhibiting @ Intersolar-South America. Stop by an...

COMPANY BLOGS

Fort Collins Residents Help City Reach Climate Targets While Saving...

Fort Collins resident Norman Illsley, 90, is making a statement. He purc...

6 Tips For Finding Great Leads

Embrace and cultivate all of the empowering qualities of a sa...

Compression: That’s What It's All About

With Intersolar already 2 weeks behind us (how did that happen...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS