The Roles and Impacts of PV-Battery Hybrids in a Decarbonized U.S. Electricity Supply

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


In this paper, we explore the potential impacts of growing industry interest in hybrid systems comprising PV and battery technologies on the results and findings of the Solar Futures Study (DOE 2021). We employ similar scenario definitions in the same ReEDS capacity expansion model, but we perform two versions of each scenario: one in which PV and battery technologies must be deployed separately (No Hybrids), and one in which the model has the option of deploying them together as PVB hybrids (With Hybrids). By comparing the No Hybrids and With Hybrids versions of each scenario, we isolate the impacts of hybridization on the outcomes and findings of the Solar Futures Study. We find that PVB hybrid configurations capture a sizable share of PV deployment, and the highest-net-value PVB hybrid configuration depends strongly on policy conditions. A power sector decarbonization policy generally increases the value proposition of a more forward-looking PVB hybrid configuration that involves significant oversizing of the PV arrays, a larger battery (which facilitates greater recovery and utilization of otherwise clipped energy), and a higher capacity factor. The growing deployment of PVB hybrid configurations primarily displaces standalone PV capacity, such that total installed PV capacity is largely unaffected by the availability of PVB hybrid configurations. However, the higher capacity factors associated with PVB hybrid configurations drive a modest (1-2 percentage point) increase in PV's share of U.S. electricity supply in 2050. Finally, introducing the PVB hybrid configurations influences the future role and makeup of battery storage technologies, and it reduces the required transmission expansion, particularly under scenarios that involve a power sector decarbonization policy.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2022

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A40-82046


  • battery
  • capacity expansion
  • hybrid
  • ReEDS
  • Solar Futures Study
  • solar PV


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