US PV Power Prices Hit New Low

published: 2018-07-03 15:58 | editor: | category: News

Contract purchase price for PV power for the Central Arizona Project in the U.S. hit new low in June, reaching US$0.02499 (NT$0.76) kilowatt/hour at one point, which is likely to be broken again anytime.

According to its new energy integration plan, NV Energy in Nevada will put in place 1,001-megawatt PV power stations and 100 megawatt and 400,000 kilowatts/hour energy storage systems via open biddings. Should the plan be approved, PV power purchase price for Copper Mountain Solar 5 Project of Sempra Renewables, topping 250 megawatts in scale, will reach only US$0.02155 (NT$0.65) per kilowatt/hour, which, though, will rise at an annual clip of 2.5% during the 25-year contract period.

Contract purchase price for 300-megawatt Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm proposed by 8minutenergy also reaches only US$0.02376 (NT$0.72) per kilowatt/hour, which will remain unchanged over the 25-year contract period, though, even lower than that of Copper Mountain Solar 5 Project in the long run.

The record new lows will come on the heels of lower-than-expectation outcome of the opening biddings for PV capacities of Xcel Energy, held six months ago, whose contract prices reached only US$0.0295 per kilowatt/hour on average. The scale of the price drops is especially extraordinary, given trade war being waged by Donald Trump, which will raise costs of PV power hardware.

8minutenergy attributes its low price to abundant sunshine of the site and the utilization of the feed lines of an old coal-fired thermal power plant, sparing it the cost for new power transmission and distribution lines. NV Energy notes that the aforementioned projects are entitled to ITC PV subsidies, which will be phased out.
PV-cell energy storage costs under the NV Energy plan will also drop sharply, to US$6,110, US$6,200, and US$7,755 megawatt/month, respectively, a far cry from US$11,300 of Xcel Energy projects.

PV power prices are expected to drop further, as a number of sunny areas, including Texas, Arizona, and Colorado, are scrambling to join the fray.
(Collaborative media: TechNews, first photo courtesy of 8minutenergy)


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