The Future of Solar in Louisiana
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.