GridNEXT 2016
Webinar Series:

NREL: 2016 Q1 PV Systems Cost Benchmark

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July 19, 2016 @ 1 pm CT

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Ran Fu is a Senior Analyst and is leading the system cost modeling efforts at NREL. He focuses on the techno-economic analysis of solar PV, solar + storage, and clean energy manufacturing financial analysis. His work has been widely cited by influential parties such as IEEE, Bloomberg, GTM, SEIA and Public Utilities Commission. Prior to NREL, he worked as a Project Engineer at Array Technologies, Inc. and had extensive knowledge in development of commercial and utility-scale solar PV projects: developed more than 600 MW solar projects worldwide in U.S., China, Canada, Spain and Chile.  

NREL has been bottom-up modeling U.S. Photovoltaic (PV) system costs since 2009. This year, our report benchmarks overnight capital costs of U.S. solar PV for residential, commercial, and utility-scale systems built in the first quarter of 2016 (Q1 2016). Our methodology includes bottom-up accounting for all system and project-development costs incurred when installing residential, commercial, and utility-scale systems. In general, we attempt to model best-in-class installation techniques and business operations from an installed-cost perspective.

Our bottom-up models provide an objective method for tracking the industry’s progress toward SunShot cost goals that is free from market-related pricing distortions and other potential shortcomings of more common market research methodologies. Critically, our quantitative models also provide a rigorous analytical basis for estimating the techno-economic impacts and cost-performance tradeoffs of different system installation technologies and techniques. NREL’s previous publications in PV system cost areas have generated strong interest from the solar industry at large, including technology companies, installers, developers, utilities, investment banks, and policy makers.