International News

DE solar saved New England US$20M in 1 summer week

Distributed solar reduced New England wholesale electricity costs by nearly $20 million dollars between July 1 and July 7 this summer, according to a recent report by Synapse Energy Economics Inc.

          The report analyzed data from ISO New England and included the following observations:

• The estimated amount of distributed solar generation during this week was approximately 96 GWh

• The maximum amount of estimated generation from distributed solar during this week was 1.6 GW, representing 7% of the peak demand during the week.

The savings on wholesale electricity costs result from two factors: reduced load and reduced prices. The study authors calculate the effect of both factors during the July period but note that their analysis focuses only on energy charges. Further savings may be evident from an analysis of capacity charges, transmission charges and other types of charges.

          Solar power in New England has increased by a factor of 60 between 2010 and 2017, according to the report. ISO New England estimates that the electricity demand met by behind-the meter PV systems lowered demand by about 2,000 MW at the solar peak. “Solar contributes to the reduction in the peak load and also contributes to moving the peak that we see here at ISO New England to that 5 to 6 p.m. timeframe,” said John Norden, ISO New England’s Director of System Operations. “Peak load usage, or the total power used in the region, is still occurring in the afternoon, but some of it is behind-the-meter, so we don’t see it.”

          The report was prepared for SunCommon, a solar developer in New York State and Vermont, by Synapse Energy Economics Inc. Copies are available here.


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