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New Hampshire Study Values Distributed Energy at 17 cent/kWh

by | Sep 29, 2022

The New Hampshire Department of Energy commissioned an independent study to estimate the value of distributed energy resources and an overview of the study results was shared with stakeholders yesterday. Comprehensive analysis by Dunsky pinned the value of distributed resources at 16-17 cents per kWh before accounting for the social cost of carbon and NOx which they said added 5 cents/kWh hour in additional value. Here is the Dunsky figure showing the avoided cost associated with various solar PV systems:

Dunsky’s study is comprehensive and methodologically sound and considered 16 avoided cost criteria from the utility perspective. Their estimate is significantly higher than the Vermont Department of Public Services estimate of 9 cents/kWh, supporting REV’s repeated critique that the Department’s evaluation is insufficiently comprehensive. unsky’s full report will not be out until the end of October but slides from the stakeholder meeting are available here.

Other notes of interest from the presentation include:

  1. New Hampshire has a considerably lower solar net-metering penetration than Vermont with only ~120 MW installed now and another 140 MW projected for 2030. This likely has important implications for solar’s impact on peak demand and may drive some of the avoided costs.
  2. The solar array sizes modeled are also relatively small: 7.8 kW DC for residential systems and 36 kW DC for commercial systems.
  3. Dunsky updated the energy cost to reflect rising prices at the start of the study but they have continued to rise dramatically since then so the short-term energy costs used in the study are on the low end.
  4. Solar + storage and west-facing solar arrays have higher avoided costs since they can provide energy later in the day.

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