News & Events

Berkeley Lab releases Top 10 Research Findings on the Growth of Hybrid Power Plants in United States

4/21/2022

One of the most important electric power system trends of the 2010s was the rapid deployment of wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, but early data suggests a twist for the 2020s may be the rapid deployment of ‘hybrid’ generation resources.

Two New National Lab Reports Introduce Innovative Concept to Support Near-term Distributed Solar Photovoltaic Deployment on Feeders with Limited Hosting Capacity

3/30/2022

Researchers from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), with staff from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, National Grid, and Rocky Mountain Institute, have authored two NREL technical reports on work culminating from a project of the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN). SEIN supports teams composed of diverse stakeholders that are developing transformative approaches to adopting solar energy.

Berkeley Lab study explores impacts of low-income solar programs

3/17/2022

Subsidies for low-income solar are reaching the right households and increasing adoption in disadvantaged communities.

Many states have offered subsidies to promote rooftop solar adoption. Most of these subsidies have phased out over time, partly under the assumption that subsidies become less necessary as solar prices decline.

Updated research assesses the performance of utility-scale PV in the United States, and how it has changed as plants age

3/15/2022

Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce the release of a new report, titled “Plant-level performance and degradation of 31 GWDC of utility-scale PV in the United States.” This report updates an earlier analysis first published two years ago, with the benefit of a 50% larger sample than in the original study, as well as two additional years of performance to evaluate.

New Berkeley Lab report on solar-adopter income and demographic trends

3/2/2022

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released the latest edition of its annual report, Residential Solar-Adopter Income and Demographic Trends. The report, based on address-level data for 2.3 million residential solar adopters across the country, describes trends in solar-adopter household income levels, race and ethnicity, language preference, rural vs. urban, education levels, occupation types, age, home value, and credit scores

What is the Cost of Errors in Solar Power Forecasts?

1/20/2022

An unexpectedly cloudy day can cause solar generation to dip below expectations, and in consequence, other generators will need to compensate with additional output. One possibility is that fast acting gas combustion turbines would fill this generation gap, and while this is suitable solution from a reliability standpoint, a more fuel efficient combined cycle generator might have been able to compensate for the reduced solar output given enough prior warning.

Utility-scale PV’s power (MW/acre) and energy (MWh/acre) density have improved significantly over the past decade

1/18/2022

Berkeley Lab is pleased to announce the publication of a new article—“Land Requirements for Utility-Scale PV: An Empirical Update on Power and Energy Density”—that was recently published in the IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics.

Berkeley Lab study explores supply-side barriers to solar adoption equity

10/21/2021

Although there is growing interest in policies and programs to ensure that the benefits of solar power are equitably reaching households of all income levels, lower income households are still less likely to go solar.

Berkeley Lab uses empirical PV+battery data to evaluate how business models influence dispatch

10/18/2021
  • Berkeley Lab analysis of empirical PV+battery data from a sample of 11 plants operating in 2020 finds that dispatch and impacts to the grid depend on the owner’s business model.
  • In addition, Berkeley Lab updates the Solar-to-Grid report with new data for 2020, detailing trends in system impacts, reliability, and market value of stand-alone solar in the United States.

Berkeley Lab’s latest “Utility-Scale Solar” report sees continued growth and falling costs for big solar

10/5/2021

We are pleased to release the 2021 edition of Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report, which presents analysis of empirical project-level data from the U.S. fleet of ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV), PV+battery, and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) plants with capacities exceeding 5 MWAC.

Project developer options to enhance the value of solar electricity as solar and storage penetrations increase

9/24/2021

Increasing the penetration of photovoltaics (PV) reduces the marginal grid value of PV electricity, which potentially limits solar deployment and thus impedes the achievement of decarbonization goals. PV project developers can alter the design of plants in ways that preserve this value. Developers can make simple tilt and azimuth adjustments or incorporate more transformational changes such as vertical bifacial modules, provision of ancillary services, and addition of energy storage.

Updated report and data illustrate distributed solar pricing and design trends

9/15/2021

We are pleased to announce the release of Berkeley Lab’s latest edition of its 

Interest in Hybrid and Co-Located Power Plants Continues to Grow

7/30/2021

Newly released data compilation from Berkeley Lab tracks existing and proposed projects

Falling battery prices and the growth of variable renewable generation are driving a surge of interest in “hybrid” power plants that combine, for example, wind or solar generating capacity with co-located batteries. While most of the current interest involves pairing photovoltaic (PV) plants with batteries, other types of hybrid or co-located plants with wide-ranging configurations have been part of the U.S. electricity mix for decades.

Distributed solar-plus-storage data and trends detailed in new Berkeley Lab report

7/23/2021

As the distributed solar market evolves toward more dynamic forms of deployment, interest in paired solar-plus-storage applications continues to gain steam, but details on the current state of the market are relatively sparse. To fill that void, Berkeley Lab has released an in-depth analysis of this budding market segment.

The Declining Cost of Wind and Solar Power Is In a Race With Declining Market Value: Which Will Win?

6/21/2021

In regions where wind and solar make up a large share of power generation, sunny and windy days lead to a glut of electricity supply, driving down hourly power prices – especially for that same wind and solar generation.

While lower prices are good for consumers, this decline in market value is not as good for producers. It could potentially limit wind and solar deployment and thus endanger decarbonization goals.

Where should batteries be put to manage wind and solar power?

5/18/2021

Batteries are becoming an increasingly common part of new power generation projects, especially for solar and wind farms. Solar projects use batteries to shift generation from the day to the evening, to capture higher power prices as the sun goes down. Wind projects can use batteries to smooth power output and avoid congestion.

New Berkeley Lab study analyzes the financial performance of Connecticut solar leasing program that targets low- and moderate-income customers

5/6/2021

Policymakers are increasingly interested in how to expand access to rooftop photovoltaic systems.

New Berkeley Lab Report Looks at How Low- and Moderate-Income Solar Programs are Evaluated

5/3/2021

Over 40 programs seek to bring solar to low-income households, but with varying levels of evaluation

New Berkeley Lab report on solar-adopter income trends

4/7/2021

new report by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory highlights income, demographic, and other socio-economic trends among U.S. residential rooftop solar adopters.

New Berkeley Lab Report Documents Trends in System Impacts, Reliability and Market Value of Solar in the United States

2/9/2021

With continued deployment of solar across the United States, assessing the interactions of solar with the power system is increasingly important. Impacts of solar on the bulk power system are obvious in the CAISO system, including changes to the net load, wholesale prices, and the market value of solar. The same impacts are not seen in ISOs with much lower penetrations of solar.

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