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The Performance of U.S. Wind and Solar Generators

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Using data on hourly outputs and spot prices for a sample 25 wind and nine solar generating plants covering all seven U.S. ISOs for 2011 and up to 12 adjacent months, this study examines capacity factors, average output values, and several aspects of intermittency. Most performance measures studied vary substantially within and between ISOs, and some vary substantially over time. Implications for research, market design, and policies to support renewable generation are briefly discussed.

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Energy Specializations: Petroleum – Policy and Regulation; Petroleum – Refining and Products; Petroleum – Markets and Prices for Crude Oil and Products; Energy and the Economy – Other; Energy and the Economy – Energy Shocks and Business Cycles

JEL Codes: Q42: Alternative Energy Sources, Q41: Energy: Demand and Supply; Prices, Q54: Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming, D40: Market Structure, Pricing, and Design: General, D44: Auctions

Keywords: Wind, Solar, Renewable, VER, Generation

DOI: 10.5547/01956574.37.1.rsch

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Published in Volume 37, Number 1 of the bi-monthly journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.