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Utility-Scale Solar 2012: An Empirical Analysis of Project Cost, Performance, and Pricing Trends in the United States
Mark Bolinger, Samantha Weaver

With a critical mass of new large-scale or “utility-scale” solar projects (including PV, CPV, and CSP) now online and in some cases having operated for a number of years (generating data in addition to electricity), the utility-scale sector of the solar market is ripe for analysis. This report, which is envisioned to be the first in an ongoing annual series, meets this need through indepth, data-driven analysis of not just installed project costs or prices – i.e., the traditional realm of solar economics analyses – but also operating costs, capacity factors, and power purchase agreement (“PPA”) prices from a large sample of utility-scale solar projects in the U.S. (where utility-scale is defined as any ground-mounted project larger than 2 MWAC). As such, it provides a more-integrated and holistic view of the market than is commonly found.

Document Type:
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory