Acadia Center today released a study that quantifies the grid and societal benefits of solar photovoltaic systems (solar PV) in Vermont. Establishing the value of distributed resources is increasingly important as states explore ways to meet energy needs and deploy clean energy resources. Acadia Center has also released Value of Solar studies for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island and Maine‘s Public Utilities Commission recently completed a similar type of analysis to inform decision making processes in that state.

Acadia Center assessed the grid and societal value of six solar PV systems to better understand the overall value that solar PV provides to the grid. By evaluating an array of configurations, this analysis determines that the value of solar to the grid – and ratepayers connected to the grid – ranges from 19-23 cents/kWh, with additional societal values of 7 cents/kWh.

“Solar generation is a valuable local energy resource that provides significant benefits to ratepayers,” said Ellen Hawes, Senior Analyst, Energy Systems & Carbon Markets. Solar PV provides unique value to the electric grid by reducing energy demand, providing power during peak periods, and avoiding generation and related emissions charges from conventional power plants. The overall grid value of solar is the sum total of these different benefits.

In addition to the value that solar provides to the grid, Acadia Center’s study finds that solar PV provides broader societal benefits, including environmental gains from reduced or avoided greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. “Societal benefits should be included when assessing the overall costs and benefits of solar PV and determining additional incentives,” said Leslie Malone, Acadia Center Senior Analyst and an author of the report.

The recently passed renewable energy standard in Vermont carves out an increasing requirement for distributed generation, opening up a larger role for solar PV in the state. In addition, the Public Service Board is in the process of drafting a revised net metering program, potentially changing rate structure. “We hope that adding to the understanding of the value that solar provides to the grid and ratepayers will help inform this proceeding,” said Malone.

For more information and methodology see:



Ellen Hawes, Senior Analyst, Energy Systems and Carbon Markets, Acadia Center, 802-649-1140,

Leslie Malone, Senior Analyst, Acadia Center, 401-276-0600,

Emily Avery-Miller, Director External Relations, Acadia Center, 617-742-0054 x001,


Acadia Center is a non-profit, research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information, and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.