IS REAL TIME PRICING RIGHT FOR SOLAR PV?
Jeffrey Perlman, Andrew Mcnamara, Da-Wei Huang, Lindsay Audin
Does the coincidence of high hourly energy prices and peak PV output improve the economics of PV installations? Could PV facilitate the wider use of hourly real-time pricing (RTP)? Such questions were explored by a team under contract to the New York City Economic Development Corporation. This article summarizes the findings of a larger publicly-available report. The team analyzed hourly solar production data from PV systems in the New York City area, hourly electric load data from buildings in New York City, and hourly market pricing from the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO). Using the local utility‟s hourly pricing tariff (called Rider M) and a combination of public and private databases, the team modeled the hypothetical impacts (both positive and negative) of RTP on the total projected cost of electricity for each building, both with and without PV systems. A parallel model of “business-as-usual” electric rate economics was conducted for the PV systems and buildings, and compared to the RTP scenarios. The results were graphed on 3-dimensional charts containing hourly PV output, interval electric load data and hourly pricing, shown for a full year to visually portray the payoffs and risks. The results demonstrate both the need for a nuanced application of RTP and an opportunity for improved rate design that could better support applications of solar PV. IN
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