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Solar Supply Curves

NREL has developed an interactive map and geospatial data showing solar supply curves, which characterize the quantity, quality, and cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) resources.

Interactive Map

Note: The map is not visible on mobile devices; please view this page on your desktop to access it.

Geospatial Data

Solar PV supply curve data are provided in .csv format and include latitude, longitude, available area, capacity potential, generation potential, generator capacity factor, and distance to interconnect.

The Open Access supply curve data only applies land area exclusions based on physical constraints (e.g., wetlands, building footprints) or for protected lands.

The Reference Access supply curve data applies a wider range of exclusions and is used by default in NREL's capacity expansion modeling.

The Limited Access supply curve data applies the most restrictive land area exclusions

Siting Regime Annual Technology Baseline Release Year Data Link
Open Access Moderate 2021 PV Open Access
Reference Access Moderate 2021 PV Reference Access
Limited Access Moderate 2021 PV Limited Access

Supply Curves Development

Solar resource potential is often assessed in terms of geographic (or resource), technical, and economic potential—each of which represents a succession of additional complexity and input assumptions that leverage similar data and a common analysis flow. This is done by first assessing the solar resource, incorporating an assessment of land availability, assuming system design details, and incorporating costs for site and transmission development.

Ultimately, this results in a spatially resolved characterization of the developable quantity, quality, and cost of solar resources, which can be sorted to represent a "supply curve."

Learn more about NREL's renewable energy supply curves.

Anthony Lopez

Researcher V, Geospatial Science