Assessing demand impact of solar capacity growth in Philadelphia

SolarPVAnalyst 2.0 is a tool, currently under development, that supports spatial decision making related to solar energy. This paper demonstrates a case study of SolarPVAnalyst 2.0, applied to assesses the impacts of PV siting and capacity growth on regional utility loads. In the absence of large-scale storage or other alternative forms of mediation, increased PV capacity is expected to lead to rapid changes in load that will require rapid response from traditional generation, and have been cited as an obstacle to successful growth of distributed rooftop solar generation. Rooftop segments identified by SolarPVAnalyst 2.0 were used to simulate deployment of PV installations throughout the city of Philadelphia. The installations were categorized by their approximate azimuth and tilt. Different solar growth strategies emphasizing a mix of solar deployment distributed among the cardinal directions azimuth groups were compared with regard to their impact on the regional net electricity demand, and load ramp rates throughout the year. Similar analyses enabled by SolarPVAnalyst could be used to predict the degree of challenge that increased growth of solar capacity poses to utility operation, and to create strategies to encourage development (e.g. through the use of targeted incentives) that could favorably mitigate the net demand impacts. Analyses can be multi-scalar, by examining spatially explicit load profiles at the city scale, neighborhood scale, or at the scale of an individual sub-station.


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Work Title Assessing demand impact of solar capacity growth in Philadelphia
Open Access
  1. Joseph Ranalli
  2. Mesude Bayrakci Boz
  3. Kirby Calvert
  4. Jeffrey R S Brownson
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
Publication Date January 1, 2016
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited September 26, 2022




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Ranalli2016ASES.pdf
  • Added Creator Joseph Ranalli
  • Added Creator Mesude Bayrakci Boz
  • Added Creator Kirby Calvert
  • Added Creator Jeffrey R S Brownson
  • Published
  • Updated