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Community Solar Business Case Calculators
Financial returns from community solar projects are important for municipalities, subscribers, and developers. Financial modeling depends on several inputs as well as assumptions on future electricity prices. This section provides links to business case tools and calculators for community solar.
Information on Community Solar Pricing
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory, "Community Solar Scenario Tool". The CSST allows users to see how various inputs—such as system size, location, and project costs—impact the economics of a project and from both a potential customer's perspective as well as the sponsoring utility. It helps answer questions like, "Would the monthly cost be attractive to potential customers," "How many shares would be ideal," and "What is going to be the average annual cost to the utility for running the program?"
- NREL, "System Advisor Model" - The System Advisor Model (SAM) is a performance and financial model designed to facilitate decision making for people involved in the renewable energy industry: project managers and engineers; policy analysts; technology developers; and researchers.
- NREL, "PVWatts Calculator" Estimates the energy production and cost of energy of grid-connected photovoltaic (PV) energy systems throughout the world.