The Total Installed Capacity for U.S. Community Solar Programs Is Expected to be 1.5 GW in 2020
A new slide-based report from Navigant Research explores the community solar market in the United States, with a focus on technology and policy trends, customer adoption, utility rollouts, and the vendor landscape, through 2025.
Utilities across the U.S. have been deploying community solar programs since 2010, offering solar energy to residential and commercial users in multi-story buildings and those without an adequate roof to support solar electricity generation. Community solar is enabled by virtual net metering, which allows consumers to offset part or all of their electricity bills with the electricity produced by the solar project. According to a new report from @NavigantRSRCH, the total installed capacity for community solar programs across the country is expected to be 1.5 GW in 2020, representing a $2.5 billion market.
“Customers benefit from a solar project that is hosted outside the utility’s premises but utilizes its transmission and distribution infrastructure,” says Roberto Rodriguez Labastida, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “At the same time, utilities improve customer satisfaction and limit the economic and technical impact that rooftop solar generation can have on their business.”
A number of drivers, including lower system cost and sustained demand for clean energy in the residential and commercial sector, create potential for community solar to capture two percent of the solar market, according to the report. However, the resulting decrease in utility control and increase in retail competition will require a rethinking of current utility business models and their electricity generation mix.
This report examines the community solar market in the United States, with a focus on technology and policy trends, customer adoption, utility rollouts, and the vendor landscape. Cost curve projections and adoption forecasts are provided through 2025, along with estimated capacity distribution by U.S. state. Featuring Navigant Research’s Utility Technology Disruption Matrix and Execution Grid, the report also examines implications for traditional utility business models, provides utility case studies, and offers strategic recommendations for industry stakeholders to position for long-term success.