Revenue analysis of spot and forward solar energy sales in Texas

Han S. Qi*, Kang Hua Cao, Chi Keung Woo, Raymond Li, Jay Zarnikau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Texas is the largest electricity-consuming state in the United States and leads the nation in variable renewable energy (VRE) development. It projects a huge increase in solar plant construction, despite VRE development’s “cannibalization effect” on the investment incentive for solar generation and the rising popularity of short-term VRE power purchase agreements in the United States. Our empirical investigation of short-term spot and forward solar energy sales first uses Texas’s monthly wholesale electricity market data for February 2016 to December 2021 to forecast the average daytime (07:00–19:00) spot energy prices and their standard deviations for forward-looking periods of one year, three years, five years and ten years. It then applies the price forecast results to analyze the revenue forecasts for a solar generation developer’s spot and forward energy sales, revealing that a new solar plant’s revenue forecast level (respectively, volatility) increases (respectively, decreases) with a short-term solar power purchase agreement’s forward energy price. When the forward energy price is below (respectively, above) the spot energy price forecast, the developer’s short-term power purchase agreement offer in response to a loadserving entity’s VRE procurement auction announcement is for a megawatt-fraction (respectively, 100%) of the plant’s energy output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-39
Number of pages39
JournalJournal of Energy Markets
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2024

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Energy(all)
  • Strategy and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • forward solar energy sale
  • revenue analysis
  • short-term power purchase agreements (PPAs)
  • solar generation development
  • spot solar energy sale
  • Texas


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