RegGuheert wrote:Huh? Ivanpah has no storage.
No, but it does have some time shifting. Ivanpah reportedly produces energy later into the evening than PV, which would mean that it could be helping with the second spike of the duck curve. For example, that DailyRenewablesWatch.pdf you linked to says that Solar Thermal produced peak power at 3:36 p.m., while Solar (PV presumably) produced peak power at 11:17 a.m.
So the question is how much gas would you have to burn to achieve similar time shifting, would it be more or less than 13% of total energy produced?
RegGuheert wrote:As you can see, since Ivanpah has NO storage capability, the timing of the production curve is quite indistinguishable from PV.
That style of graph makes it very difficult to see any such thing. The large hump in the solar PV dominates the shape of the solar thermal curve. For example, I would not have guessed looking at the graph that solar thermal peak production was at 3:36 p.m.
Of course, what we really need is more finely grained production numbers over the course of a day, averaged over many days. You may well be right that PV plus gas could duplicate Ivanpah's production with less natural gas burned.
As to comparing Ivanpah to PV plus gas using today's numbers, that doesn't really address the question of whether Ivanpah should have been built. Instead it addresses the question of "should we build another Ivanpah?" To address the question of whether Ivanpah should have been built, you would need to use numbers from the time it was being planned.
Also, to the extent that Ivanpah is an experiment, I think it is too soon to make a final judgement on it. Production seems to have improved from 2014 to 2015, so it may well continue to improve over the next couple years. Who knows, maybe they will figure out how to increase the time shifting into the evening.