Endogenous Assessment of the Capacity Value of Solar PV in Generation Investment Planning Studies

Publication Type

Journal Article

Date Published

August 2015


There exist several different reliability- and approximation-based methods to determine the contribution of solar resources toward resource adequacy. However, most of these approaches require knowing in advance the installed capacities of both conventional and solar generators. This is a complication since generator capacities are actually decision variables in capacity planning studies. In this paper, we study the effect of time resolution and solar PV penetration using a planning model that accounts for the full distribution of generator outages and solar resource variability. We also describe a modification of a standard deterministic planning model that enforces a resource adequacy target through a reserve margin constraint. Our numerical experiments show that at least 50 days worth of data are necessary to approximate the results of the full-resolution model with a maximum error of 2.5% on costs and capacity. We also show that the amount of displaced capacity of conventional generation decreases rapidly as the penetration of solar PV increases. We find that using an exogenously defined and constant capacity value based on time-series data can yield relatively accurate results for small penetration levels. For higher penetration levels, the modified deterministic planning model better captures avoided costs and the decreasing value of solar PV.


IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy



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