In 2017, the installed capacity of distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) reached more than 16 gigawatts in the United States. Solar PV has seen increasing investment over the last several years due to improvements in technology and steady declines in prices. However, there is little consensus on what impact residential solar deployment will have on electricity grid systems. While solar advocates tout the many benefits of increased distributed solar PV development, many electric utilities have cited concerns over how new, intermittent, distributed resources will be incorporated into existing grid infrastructure and planning.
This study targets adoption of solar installations in areas with the highest potential value to the electric grid. We analyze the costs and benefits of these high-value solar installations to the electricity network, by measuring their effect on a number of network metrics.