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A Regulator's Guidebook: Calculating the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Solar Generation

Valuation, Analysis, BCA   
Recent distributed solar generation ("DSG") studies have varied widely due to differences in study assumptions, key parameters, and methodologies, as shown by Rocky Mountain Institute's meta-study. A standard methodology would be helpful as legislators, regulators and the public attempt to determine whether to curtail or expand DSG policies. Valuations vary by utility, but the authors contend that valuation methodologies should not. The authors suggest standardized approaches for the various benefits and costs, and explain how to calculate them regardless of the structure of the program or rate in which this valuation is used. Whether considering net net energy metering, value of solar tariffs, fixed-rate feed-in tariffs, or incentive programs, parties will always want to determine the value provided by DSG.