By March 5, 2016 Read More →

Solar net metering grew 31% in US during 2015 – EIA

Net metering allows utility customer to generate renewable electricity, sell it back to the power grid

Strong growth in American solar photovoltaic net metering – a 31 per cent increase – continued in 2015, according to the US Energy Information Administration’s preliminary data.

net metering

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 2016 Electric Power Monthly Database
Notes: Data for 2015 are preliminary.

The Electricity Monthly Update shows that net metering capacity at non-utility-scale solar PV facilities (facilities smaller than 1 megawatt) increased from 7,097 megawatts in 2014 to 9,332 MW in 2015.

This increase continues the recent strong growth in net metering capacity, which has nearly quadrupled since 2011.

Most of the PV net metering capacity and PV capacity additions are concentrated in 10 states, with California having the largest share.

The top ten states accounted for 87 per cent (8,101 MW) of existing 2015 capacity and 92 per cent (2,053 MW) of total 2015 capacity additions.

The rapid expansion in PV net metering capacity is being driven by developments in the residential sector.

During 2015, about 2,235 MW of solar PV net metering capacity were installed. Almost three-quarters of all capacity additions (1,582 MW) were installed in the residential sector. Looking over the entire 2011 to 2015 time horizon, of the total 7,873 MW of PV net metered capacity added during that time, nearly 55% (4,336 MW) was in the residential sector.

Strong growth in the residential sector can, in part, be attributed to state programs that encourage PV net metering, improvements in PV technology, and the increased presence of third-party owners that facilitate both net metering for rooftop solar and virtual net metering agreements. These agreements allow consumers to get credit for net metering by buying into larger-scale solar PV projects not located on-site.

net metering

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, February 2016 Electric Power Monthly Database
Notes: Data for 2015 are preliminary.

The commercial sector accounted for about 515 MW, or 23 per cent, of new 2015 PV net metering capacity. The remaining newly installed capacity, 138 MW (6% of total capacity), was installed in the industrial sector.

Net metering is an arrangement that allows an electric-utility customer to generate renewable electricity from an eligible generator to offset the cost of some or all of their electricity consumption. Electricity generated from the PV system is generally used on-site. When generation exceeds on-site load, the surplus electricity will flow into the connected utility distribution system.

The excess is subject to state net metering rules and the customer may be credited for the excess electricity. When the customer consumes more electricity than is generated from the PV system to meet on-site load, the customer is billed for the net electricity consumed from the grid. Net metering capacity data shown here does not include utility scale facilities (greater than 1 MW) and behind-the-meter generation capacity that is not net metered.

Capacity additions have increased each year between 2011 and 2015, from 1,037 megawatts (MW) of solar PV net metering capacity in 2011 to 2,235 MW in 2015.

This growth is being fostered in states that have a favorable regulatory environment for net metering, conducive climatic conditions for solar PV, and the presence of third-party operators (e.g., Solar City, etc.) that facilitate net metering arrangements between themselves, end-use customers, and utilities.



Posted in: News

Comments are closed.