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Midscale Commercial Solar Market

NREL experts are providing analysis and technical assistance to expand the midscale solar market. The midscale market for solar photovoltaics, loosely defined as behind-the-meter systems between 100 kilowatts (kW) and 2 megawatts, has grown more slowly than other photovoltaic (PV) market segments in recent years.

NREL offers no-cost technical assistance to universities seeking to go solar and publishes reports, fact sheets, presentations, and brochures aimed to help universities implement solar projects.

Featured Analysis

Expanding Midscale Solar: Examining the Economic Potential, Barriers, and Opportunities at Offices, Hotels, Warehouses, and Universities
Authors: Lori Bird, Pieter Gagnon, and Jenny Heeter

At 2015 average (50–100 kW) installed prices ($3.20/WDC), the techno-economic potential for the office, hotel, and warehouse segments is substantial, at 44 gigawatts (GW), with about half of that capacity coming from offices (22 GW). With further price declines on par with the 2020 targets of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, the techno-economic potential for these three segments could reach more than 100 GW. An additional 3.7 GW at universities would be "high value"—capacity whose average bill savings would exceed 10¢ per kilowatt-hour of electricity generated.

Midmarket Solar Policies in the United States
To help prospective solar customers understand and use the policies of their state for midsized solar projects, NREL provides an online inventory of policies for each state. This website is based on the 2016 NREL report Midmarket Solar Policies in the United States: A Guide for Midsized Solar Customers, which equips prospective solar customers with the tools necessary to understand and use the solar policies of their state for midmarket solar projects. This inventory serves as an online and up-to-date version of the report's state-by-state summaries. Each state's webpage highlights policy gaps and opportunities in that state's policies that either inhibit or enable midmarket projects.

Technical Assistance

NREL offers no-cost technical assistance to universities seeking to implement solar projects. Supporting the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot initiative, the program is designed to increase PV systems at universities, engage stakeholders to develop deployment solutions, and empower decision makers.