Solar valued at 20-25 cents per kWh in Connecticut

March 27, 2015
Emily Rochon, Boston Community Capital

An analysis released today by the Acadia Center, puts the value of solar electricity in Connecticut at 20-25 cents/kWh. This valuation does not include an estimated 9.6 cents/kWh of benefits resulting from avoided pollution, such as carbon, SOx and NOx emissions.  Media coverage here.  This analysis is the second to be released in recent weeks to put a value on the benefits of solar.  A value of solar analysis conducted by the Maine Public Utilities Commission pegged the value solar electricity at 33 cents/kWh.

Value of solar studies such as these are critical as they counter the claims by utility companies that solar customers are unfairly subsidized by non-solar customers and low income ratepayers that can't afford solar.  These studies, more often than not, show the reverse to be true.  What's more, similar studies also show that solar doesn’t substantially raise rates for low income ratepayers and low income communities can afford solar.  For example:

  • A study commissioned by the California Public Utilities Commission found that solar customers on average cover their full costs to the electricity grid;
  • A study by the Nevada Public Utilities Commission and a study by the Mississippi Public Service Commission also found that solar customers provide a net benefit to all ratepayers;  
  • An analysis from the Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory found that even the most aggressive net metering solar policies would have minimal impact (0.1-2.7%) on electricity rates;  and
  • A 2013 analysis conducted by the Center for American Progress revealed that rooftop solar is not just being adopted by the wealthy; it is, in fact, mostly being deployed in neighborhoods where median income ranges from $30,000 to $90,000.

The Acadia Center will be releasing the results of its value of solar analysis for Massachusetts in April.