Solar Builder

MAR-APR 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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Midwest Values How to identify market opportunities outside of solar hotbeds By Adam Gerza A good starting point for identifying an advantageous solar market is to look at the average retail cost of electricity. For behind-the-meter (BTM) solar projects, high retail electricity prices enable solar project economics to look more attractive. The opposite is also true. Low prices make it hard for projects to pencil out. This is a primary reason why the Midwest rooftop solar market has lagged behind other regions of the country that have experienced more rapid growth. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is a great resource for sourc- ing impartial information on energy costs throughout the country. EIA publishes a monthly report which shows the average price of electricity for each state by sector of use. Below is a summary of EIA energy cost data for the five biggest Midwestern states, in comparison to California, the leading BTM solar state in the country. 28 M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 State Residential Commercial All Sectors (cents per kWh) Illinois 12.21 8.46 8.98 Indiana 11.78 10.38 9.57 Michigan 15.41 11.25 11.41 Ohio 12.15 9.97 9.66 Wisconsin 14.34 11.04 10.94 California 18.68 14.45 15.30 Data from EIA (February 2017) Retail Electricity Prices by Sector

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