Featured Publications

Jun 2014 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Bulletin: 2014 Centralized Solar Market Bulletin Q1

Solar generation in the United States grew by 4,202 megawatts (MW) in 2013, more than twice as much new capacity as coal-fired generation and nearly triple the growth of wind power over the same period. Continuing that record-setting growth — and following a particularly strong fourth quarter — the solar sector kicked off 2014 with high expectat...

Topics: business strategy

Jun 2014 | REPORT | Public

Utility Solar Market Snapshot

This Snapshot provides an overview of SEPA's 2013 Utility Solar Market Survey.  This edition of the Snapshot is presented in an infographic format.

Topics: business strategy

Apr 2014 | REPORT | Members Only

Renewable Energy Options for Electric Utility Key Account Customers

Utilities’ key accounts comprise their largest per-customer revenues and typically are their highest energy usage customers.  They are often afforded enhanced customer service and programmatic attention.  These large users include commercial, industrial, government, and institutional customers such as retail stores, military bases, data centers,...

Topics: customer solutions

Mar 2014 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Bulletin: 2013 Centralized Solar Market Bulletin YIR/Q4

SEPA's 2013 YIR/Q4 Centralized Solar Market Bulletin provides a year-in-review of solar project activity in the U.S. throughout 2013. 2013 was the most impressive year yet for solar power.  The addition of new solar generation beat out every other energy source on the grid last year, with the exception of natural gas.  Solar even surpassed wind...

Topics: business strategy

Mar 2014 | REPORT | Members Only

Predicting Solar Power Production: Irradiance Forecasting Models, Applications and Future Prospects

This report provides a review of solar forecasting approaches and how they are being used by grid operators, utility companies, and other market participants for planning and operations.  This report is based on a survey of the literative and interviews with experts from three broad stakeholder groups.

Topics: technology integration

Aug 2013 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Bulletin: Centralized Solar Projects Bulletin Q2 2013

SEPA's members-only quarterly solar projects bulletin will provide a summary and commentary on the centralized PV and CSP projects activity in the United States. 

Topics: business strategy

Jul 2013 | REPORT | Public

Ratemaking, Solar Value and Net Energy Metering - A Primer - July 2013

This paper is an introduction to state utility regulation and principles that are considered during solar valuation, with an emphasis on key concepts and terms. It is designed to ensure that stakeholders engaged in these conversations are more fully informed in those areas in order to have a common understanding of the lexicon used.

Topics: policy regulatory

Jun 2013 | REPORT | Public

2012 SEPA Utility Solar Rankings - Full Report - June 2013

The sixth annual Utility Solar Rankings report ranks U.S. electric utilities based on the solar megawatts and watts-per-customer in their solar generation portfolios.  The top ten rankings include national and utility-type rankings. The report further examines key utility solar trends.

Topics: business strategy

May 2013 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Utility Community Solar Handbook

Written specifically for utilities looking to create a community solar program, this handbook defines the major issues and components that need to be addressed in program design and provides methods to get the process started. These guidelines and considerations are based directly upon the lessons learned from community solar programs managed by...

Topics: customer solutions

Sep 2012 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Germany Fact Finding Mission 2012

German policies have spurred dramatic renewable energy market growth, and the corresponding deployment of renewable energy resources has resulted in an electric utility system that is heavily saturated by intermittent energy sources, including solar. SEPA returned to Germany in June 2012, the site of SEPA’s first international FFM five years ear...

Topics: business strategy

Jun 2012 | REPORT | Members Only

Changing Ownership of Distributed Photovoltaics

Topics: business strategy

Apr 2012 | REPORT | Public

SEPA Report: Electric Utilities’ Solar Employment Needs Brief Preview

All grid connected solar electric projects are interconnected and contracted through the utility, but utilities also provide facilitating roles for many solar technologies in different market segments and sizes through incentives, formal procurement mechanisms, industry development and education initiatives, and longterm utility planning. This i...

Topics: business strategy

Jan 2012 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Third Party Solar Water Heating Report

In recent years, a number of turnkey solar thermal providers have entered the US market.  They are distinguished by a focus on either the residential or commercial market and by financing.  The report begins with a review of solar thermal market research for both residential and commercial sectors, including loan-centered models, solar thermal E...


Dec 2011 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Buy versus Build (Final Report)

It is of little surprise that utilities are looking to add solar to their generation portfolios given the expansion of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and the significant decline in installed PV costs.  This report explores a utility's two solar procurement options - ownership or contracting.  The analysis considers financial, tax and regula...

Topics: wholesale purchasing

Aug 2011 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA/EPRI Brief: Solar Augmentation of Fossil-Fired Power Cycles

Recently a potentially more cost effective option for CSP has transitioned from the development phase into the demonstration phase – solar augmentation of existing or co-constructed fossil fuel power plants, generally either coal or natural gas.  By augmenting the steam cycle of a natural gas combined-cycle (NGCC) system with solar, ISCC techno...

Topics: technology integration

Jun 2011 | REPORT | Members Only

Normalization of Solar Investment Tax Credits

Topics: wholesale purchasing

Sep 2010 | Members Only

SEPA Report: Photovoltaic Technology Characterization Review

The PV market continues its explosive growth and simultaneously a wide array of commercially available PV technology and application options are emerging.  While still a minor percentage of the global generation portfolio, PV technology represents a potential transformation from the traditional centralized energy market.  Investments and strateg...


Aug 2010 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: International Utility Photovoltaics Survey: Utility Procurement Influences & Practices

As part of an ongoing collaboration, the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) and Gartner Research conducted a phone survey of 134 utilities in Europe and the United States to understand their requirements and objectives for implementing photovoltaic (PV) technologies in their energy generation portfolios. This telephone survey was complement...

Topics: business strategy

Jul 2010 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Photovoltaic Incentive Proagrams Survey; Residential Participant Demographics, Motivations and Experiences - Executive Summary

The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) developed a standardized online survey, in consultation with PV incentive program managers, to collect information from participants of PV incentive programs. The PV incentive program survey and the accompanying research had two main goals. The first goal was to provide individual results to participa...

Topics: customer solutions

Aug 2009 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Utility Solar Tax Manual (full report)

This manual is for investor-owned utilities, their unregulated affiliates, municipal utilities and electric cooperatives that are involved with solar energy.  The manual is divided into three broad sections.  The first section focuses on the potential federal tax subsidies that are available to help pay part of the cost of solar equipment and wh...

Topics: wholesale purchasing

Jul 2009 | REPORT | Public

SEPA Report: Photovoltaic Capacity Valuation Methods

This final report is designed to give participants a background on the PV capacity methods and issues related to them, as well as a summary of the workshop. From the workshop, three methods were identified as more preferable - Effective Load Carrying Capacity, Solar Load Control / Minimum Buffer Energy Storage (combined as one due to similaritie...

Topics: technology integration

Jul 2009 | REPORT | Public

SEPA Report: Residential Photovoltaic Metering and Interconnection Study

Sixty-three utilities representing a cross-section of utility types and geographic diversity participated in the survey. The utilities that responded to the survey are, on average, ahead of the curve in terms of solar deployed in their service territories and are not necessarily representative of the typical utility. However, the lessons they ha...

Topics: technology integration

Jul 2009 | REPORT | Public

SEPA Report: Decoupling Utility Profits from Sales

This decoupling white paper stays neutral on the topic, instead providing an overview of the problem with revenue loss and a background on net metering and its specific impact on the problem. The paper then goes on to more specifically define and discuss decoupling and alternatives to decoupling. This is followed by a decoupling case study of a ...

Topics: policy regulatory

Jun 2009 | REPORT | Members Only

SEPA Report: Utility Solar Business Models (Phase 1, Executive Summary)

The Utility Solar Business Model project had two primary objectives. The first was to explore business approaches that will enable utilities to turn what some view as the 'threat' of customer-sited solar generation into an opportunity - by creating new value in the solar value chain; capturing some share of that value for utility stakeholders; a...

Topics: business strategy


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