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Moving Towards a More Comprehensive Framework to Evaluate Distributed Photovoltaics

Research or Whitepaper
Valuation, Analysis, BCA   
There is a growing interest in customer-owned generation with a particular interest in photovoltaic (PV) systems. This has resulted in a growing number of analytical studies aimed at determining their value. Two difficulties that these studies have encountered are how to select the proper evaluation perspective and which benefits and costs to include in the analysis.

This paper presents a framework to perform a more comprehensive analysis. It frames the established Standard Practice Tests used for demand side management cost effectiveness evaluation within a benefit-cost matrix and then expands this matrix to include additional perspectives and benefits/costs. It also suggests which benefits/costs apply from the various perspectives for customer-owned distributed PV systems.

This paper is not a final word on the subject. Rather, it is intended to facilitate a discussion that will lead to a more formalized set of tests to evaluate distributed PV systems. It is also hoped that it will stimulate the development of analytical methods for benefits that have been identified but for which evaluation methodologies do not exist.