Report: Buy versus Build

Report: Buy versus Build

  • Financial considerations to either buy or build new solar PV
  • Tax implications
  • Factors for consideration: control, return on investment, development risk, and state oversight


To Build or Not to Build?

Utilities are evaluating solar options for generation portfolios due to the expansion of renewable portfolio standards (RPS) and significant declines in PV costs. Project decision factors are not static and procurement methods for a utility may change over time. Because decision factors impact utilities differently, there is no “one size fits all” answer to the question whether to buy or build. Each utility must weigh the advantages and disadvantages associated with buying versus building solar PV.

What’s in the Report?

This report explores a utility’s two solar procurement options – ownership or third-party power purchase agreements. The analysis considers financial, tax and regulatory landscape that impact a utility’s decision whether to buy or build new solar generation.