The Future of Solar in Louisiana


Louisiana Board of Regents


An Analysis of the Technical and Economic Implications of Solar P.V. Growth on Louisiana's Economy and Electric Grid

Gregory B. Upton, Jr., Center for Energy Studies, Louisiana State University

Farzad Ferdowsi, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Amin Kargarian, Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Louisiana State University

Shahab Mehraeen, Division of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Louisiana State University

In June of 2016, the Louisiana Board of Regents provided support as part of its Industrial Ties Research Subprogram (ITRS) to study how solar could be incorporated into the electric grid and whether the incorporation of battery storage could enhance the scalability of this resource in an economical way. Industry partner Southwestern Electric Power Company (SWEPCO) also provided data and support including technical engineering data on its distribution grid. This collaborative effort between the LSU Center for Energy Studies, the Louisiana Board of Regents, and SWEPCO has resulted in a report that assesses both the technical and economic implications of the solar industry in Louisiana.

The two-part report addresses the incorporation of solar PV from both an engineering and economic perspective including:

1. The degree to which solar growth can cause challenges to the distribution grid that electric utilities are responsible for maintaining in order to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to Louisiana’s residents.

2. The economics of behind-the-meter solar in light of both reduced solar tax credits and rate design changes.

View or download the report here.