Solar Market Adoption Study

Navigant assisted Pacific Gas & Electric Company distribution system planning initiatives

Challenge

Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) needed to understand the expected penetration of solar distributed generation (DG) at the substation level to support its distribution system planning initiatives.

Solution

Navigant employed an enhanced version of the classic Bass diffusion model using system dynamics to simulate market adoption of solar PV. This approach takes into account third-party ownership where there is no upfront cost to customer.

Navigant’s approach to modeling solar market adoption consisted of the following steps:

  • Quantifying technical and market potential of DG in the utility service territory by sector

  • Evaluating customer economics and corresponding DG adoption under various scenarios

  • Forecasting DG adoption down to the substation-level to 2030 by sector under different retail rate and net-energy metering (NEM) reform scenarios

Impact

Navigant provided PG&E with a detailed forecast of DG solar market adoption by sector at the substation level for a wide variety of retail rate and NEM reform scenarios. In addition, we developed a fully customized model in Analytica for PG&E and trained staff to use the model.

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