Solar Siting and Interconnection

Through data-driven analysis, NREL is working to advance innovative siting and interconnection approaches for solar energy. Our research considers technical, economic, social, and environmental factors.

Two people standing next to large, ground-mounted photovoltaic arrays.


  • Collecting and analyzing data to understand the technical, economic, and environmental factors that influence solar siting decisions
  • Providing analytic support to communities and other stakeholders to help identify innovative solar siting solutions
  • Studying and developing best practices for solar interconnection processes

Key Projects

Solar-Plus-Storage Analysis

NREL employs a variety of analysis approaches to understand how solar-plus-storage deployment will affect energy systems.

Advanced Hosting Capacity Analysis

NREL's advanced hosting capacity analysis can help utilities, policymakers, and solar developers better understand the impact of adding new distributed photovoltaic (DPV) systems to the electrical distribution system.


Agrivoltaics pairs solar with agriculture, creating energy and providing space for crops, grazing, and native habitats under and between panels. NREL studies economic and ecological tradeoffs of agrivoltaic systems.

Photovoltaic Stormwater Management Research and Testing

This PV-SMaRT project is developing and disseminating research-based, PV-specific tools and best practices for stormwater management and water quality at ground-mounted PV sites.

Permitting, Inspection, and Interconnection

To address solar permitting, inspection, and interconnection challenges and delays, NREL has developed software and analysis to identify best practices and streamline review timelines.

Distribution Grid Integration

NREL's distribution integration research tackles the challenges facing the widespread integration of distributed energy resources while maintaining the safe, efficient, and cost-effective operation of the distribution system.

Person driving tractor in between ground-mounted solar arrays.

Opportunities for cost reductions and environmental compatibility of solar technologies.

Person driving tractor in between ground-mounted solar arrays.

Online platform helps streamline permitting process for residential solar installations.