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Thursday, May 23 • 2:25pm - 2:45pm
DTA Presentation - Washington State Rooftop and Community Solar Installations: A Spatiotemporal Analysis

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The cost of rooftop and community solar applications has been falling, becoming more cost competitive with traditional sources of electricity. Consumers have recognized this cost saving opportunity and taken advantage of incentive policies, such as the Washington State Renewable Energy System Incentive Program (RESIP); however, there has been limited research to understand how these incentive programs have performed, or where residents have applied for them. This project’s goal is to study the spatiotemporal patterns of rooftop and community solar installations registered under RESIP during a 20-month period over the years 2017 and 2018. The data was obtained from the Washington State University Energy Program. A time series analysis using small multiple maps provides enhanced detail about how the geographies of solar installations changed on a monthly and seasonal basis. This analysis examines the raw number of installations, as well as the total electrical capacity of the installed systems. These variables are shown using choropleth maps, as well as hot spot maps derived using Getis and Ord’s Gi* statistic. The maps show consistently high uptake clusters in Northwestern Washington, with seasonal summertime trends in South Central Washington. Installations and capacity in South Central Washington saw significant expansion during the summer months of 2018. Learning how solar uptake has spread across the state can assist policy makers to identify why solar is installed in certain areas, help enhance advertising by focusing on low uptake areas, and improve future incentive policies offered by both local and state governments.


Thursday May 23, 2019 2:25pm - 2:45pm AKDT
GTCC RM 315 Tacoma Convention Center, 1500 Commerce St, Tacoma, WA 98402