Many electric utilities utilize Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs) to develop and communicate a long-term vision for their resource development. As such, IRPs play a significant role in solar development and in how customers achieve their clean energy goals. For large-scale energy customers, including corporations and local governments, understanding how IRP processes impact resource decisions—and how this relates to achieving their clean energy targets—can influence their engagement with utilities and regulators.

A range of barriers can limit solar energy in IRPs, including outdated or unfounded solar technology assumptions and modeling practices that do not enable solar to compete fairly with other resources in the process. These barriers can reduce the amount of solar in the grid mix or available to customers through utility programs, impacting the ability of customers to meet their clean energy targets.

This working paper aims to raise awareness among large-scale customers, utilities, and regulators of some of the current barriers that limit solar energy in utility IRPs.