Greening the grid : the cost-effectiveness of residential solar programs in Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/08612s48k

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  • Oregon residents possess several options in installing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. This study examines a range of options--tax credits and rebates, a volumetric incentive rate program, power purchase agreements from third-party installers, and solar leasing--and compares the cost of these options to not installing. The paper considers the problem of solar installation to be a cost minimization problem and presents a framework for solving the problem using simulation models for each of the options. The study implements sensitivity analysis to explore to what extent different variables--interest/discount rates, system size, incentives, electricity price, location, among others--impact savings. Preliminary results show that the attractiveness of the options are primarily impacted by type of incentive, system cost, system size, location, and that installing some solar PV systems in certain areas of Oregon is more expensive than not installing, even after applying the maximum incentive. In addition to the cost-minimization problem, the study includes a discussion of impacts on the grid and explores the economic sustainability of solar PV.
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