Maximizing the Value of Photovoltaic Installations on Schools in California: Choosing the Best Electricity Rates

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Schools in California often have a choice between multiple electricity rate options. For schools with photovoltaic (PV) installations, choosing the right rate is essential to maximize the value of PV generation. The rate option that minimizes a school’s electricity expenses often does not remain the most economical choice after the school installs a PV system. The complex interaction between PV generation, building load, and rate structure makes determining the best rate a challenging task. Twenty-two rate structures across three of California’s largest electric utilities—Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E)—were evaluated in order to identify common rate structure attributes that are favorable to PV installations.

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