drees wrote:GRA is right. The sunk cost is in. There's no point in shutting it down, keeping it running costs a tiny fraction of what it cost to build. What's keeping the cost of the electricity generated high now is financing. If the plant were allowed to go bankrupt, the taxpayer is very likely the one who would take a bath in this scenario. It's in the taxpayer's best interest for the plant to keep running, even if it's missing it's performance targets.
Taxpayers are only on the hook because of ridiculous loan guarantees made by the government. If the government is forced to repay its own loans, then ownership should revert to the government instead of rewarding the corporation for miserable investment choices.
A better approach would be for the original owners to eat their investment and be forced to sell the plant for pennies on the dollar. Then you will find out if it really makes sense to continue operation. As it stands, you have government bureaucrats spending other people's money with no real accountability in place.
RegGuheert wrote:Ivanpah has had to ask for permission to burn significantly more natural gas than originally planned.
"Significantly more" than a small amount is still a relatively small amount.
And? That statement in no way invalidates my claim:
RegGuheert wrote:I'm willing to bet that the production into the evening could have been accomplished by simply be building a natural gas peaker plant for that purpose. Likely it would use less natural gas than Ivanpah does.
Today, Ivanpah burns natural gas for 4.5 hours each day rather than the 1 hour which was originally indicated
. Does Ivanpah *really* provide more than 4.5 hours of electricity into the evening hours. No, this "benefit" of solar thermal really is a mirage.
Further, I indicated that
RegGuheert wrote:It seems clear: PV would have cost significantly less and would have caused significantly less environmental damage, particularly if it had been put on rooftops instead of in the desert.
It appears I'm not the only one who feels this way
Dividing up the 377 megawatts into the 140,000 homes it's alleged to support during comes out to 2400 watts per home. Installing 2400 watts of PV on each of those 140,000 homes would cost $8000-8500 per home at 2015 installed prices (pre-subsidy), and would take MUCH less stress off the grid during peak hours than Ivanpah can. That adds up to $1.2 billion, a considerable discount from the $1.6 billion in loan guarantees cited. Spending the difference in up front cost on distributed grid-tied batteries would probably exceed the storage capacity at Ivanpah, and would be far more flexible too.
So, tell me this: Why does the government feel justified in giving massive subsidies to huge multinational corporations to build expensive solar generators that will cause homeowners to pay more money for electricity when instead they could have given the same amount of money BACK to the taxpayers to allow them to nearly eliminate their electricity bills?
No, I'm not in favor of ill-conceived projects like Ivanpah which are, in reality, just hand-outs to corporations to allow them to charge more money from the ratepayers of the utilities.
All of this is taking place at the same time that the utilities in CA are making it much more difficult for homeowners to install PV on their homes.