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Weekly publication update – 10.03.2015

By Ella Zhou, NREL

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L. Bird and C. Linvill et al., “Regulatory Considerations Associated with the Expanded Adoption of Distributed Solar,” National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Regulatory Assistance Project, November 2013. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/60613.pdf or download it here.

This paper aims at helping the decision-makers

  • understand the costs and benefits of increased adoption of distributed PV,
  • understand the impact of different regulatory models on consumers, utilities, and non-utility electricity service providers,
  • understand the impact of rate design alternatives on different consumers and utilities, and
  • frame the discussion as they formulate equitable regulatory and rate design solutions.

Chapter 4 titled ‘Business Models for Distributed Generation’ provides a broad overview of potential distributed generation (DG) business models and associated regulatory consideration. Customer and third-party-owned business models include: customer-owned, third-party leasing, community solar, and customer demand aggregation. Utility investment models include: utility build-own-operate / utility turnkey DG systems, utility-led community solar projects, utility partnership and investment in third-party leasing companies, value-added consulting services, and virtual power plant operator. The chapter also provides an overview of the Energy Services Utility Model concept.

Chapter 5 titled ‘Regulation and Rate Design Options for Distributed PV’ explores how rate design affects the relative value of distributed photovoltaic programs to various stakeholders. It reviews principles of distributed generation rate design, as well as various tariff design options (i.e., net energy metering, feed-in tariff, value of solar) and tariff building blocks (i.e. fixed charges, demand charges, stand-by rates). It also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various tariff design pathways.