This article identifies the combined value that solar electric power plants deliver to utilities’ rate payers and society’s tax payers. Benefits that are relevant to utilities and their rate payers include traditional, measures of energy and capacity. Benefits that are tangible to taxpayers include environmental, fuel price mitigation, outage risk protection, and long-term economic growth components.
Results for the state of New York suggest that solar electric installations deliver between 15 to 40 cents per kWh to ratepayers and taxpayers. These results provide economic justification for the existence of payment structures (often referred to as incentives) that transfer value from those who benefit from solar electric generation to those who invest in solar electric generation.