GRA
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:11 pm

JeremyW wrote:
GRA wrote:Then you have to remember that the cost of generation is only part of the equation, there's also storage (or use of fossil-fuels instead) that has to be considered; these were CSP plants _with_ storage. As to your point about 'heads I win, tails you lose' bailouts, I don't disagree.
Ivapnah does not contain any storage.
Oops, you're right. We were discussing CSP w/storage upthread, and I mentally lumped Ivanpah in with Solana and the rest. They say the memory is the second thing to go, and I've forgotten what the first was ;)
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

AndyH
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:48 am

RegGuheert wrote:
GRA wrote:Issues at Ivanpah and solar-thermal in general, via the WSJ. Nothing we didn't already know, but this provides more details: ...
Here is another link to the same article at Marketwatch (which is not paywalled): High-tech solar projects fail to deliver

Note that if you need to burn four hours' worth of natural gas in the morning to get this thing started every morning, then it seems the major benefit of these solar-thermal-electric plant is not such a strong proposition.

There's absolutely no reason why they 'need' to burn natural gas (fossil gas) - they can use biogas just as easily. The tech doesn't 'need' to run heaters regardless of the fuel though - it just needs it to generate steam early in order to get an 'immediate start' - it can just as easily wait until the sun's a bit higher in the sky to "run smoothly and efficiently."
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edatoakrun
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Sat Jul 11, 2015 9:44 am

IF large-scale PV generation costs (as well as electricity storage costs, for when the sun isn't available) continue to fall in price as rapidly as they have recently, it will be difficult for any other electricity source to compete, in the not-too-distant future.

Buffett Scores Cheapest Electricity Rate With Nevada Solar Farms

Warren Buffett’s Nevada utility has lined up what may be the cheapest electricity in the U.S., and it’s from a solar farm.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s NV Energy agreed to pay 3.87 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from a 100-megawatt project that First Solar Inc. is developing, according to a filing with regulators.

That’s a bargain. Last year the utility was paying 13.77 cents a kilowatt-hour for renewable energy. The rapid decline is a sign that solar energy is becoming a mainstream technology with fewer perceived risks. It’s also related to the 70 percent plunge in the price of panels since 2010, and the fact that the project will be built in Nevada, the third-sunniest state.

“That’s probably the cheapest PPA I’ve ever seen in the U.S.,” Kit Konolige, a utility analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence in New York, said Tuesday. “It helps a lot that they’re in the Southwest when there’s good sun.”

The power-purchase agreement for energy from First Solar’s Playa Solar 2 project was the cheapest offered to NV Energy this year for new power plants. The utility also agreed to pay 4.6 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from SunPower Corp.’s 100-megawatt Boulder Solar project, the best price offered last year.

“Power generated from solar plants is cost-competitive with power from traditional, fossil fuel burning plants, and becoming more cost-competitive every day,” SunPower Chief Executive Officer Tom Werner said in an e-mailed statement.

Steven Krum, a First Solar spokesman, said the contracts demonstrate that solar projects, especially large-scale power plants, are becoming cheaper to build and operate...

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... olar-farms
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GRA
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Sat Jul 11, 2015 2:15 pm

Excellent news! Assuming the interconnections are available (always a lot of Nimbyism opposing new ones), that will handle peak daytime loads at far lower cost, and, provided daytime charging gets installed, will handle any number of EVs while also providing grid storage (assuming V2G). Or we just need to get storage costs down similarly to handle the base load. So far, even the most recent U.S. utility battery storage projects all seem to be sized for nothing more than frequency/voltage stabilization, with maybe a little bit of peak shaving thrown in. Here's another take on Buffett and PV's potential vis a vis petroleum or ethanol, via GCC:
Opinion: Why Buffett Bet A Billion On Solar: Miles Per Acre Per Year
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/06 ... ewitt.html

The CA gas price quoted is a bit high, and currently (2:14 PDT) $3.612: http://www.californiagasprices.com/Pric ... nally.aspx
My cheapest gas locally is $3.06.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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drees
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Sat Jul 11, 2015 10:40 pm

The 7c/kWh quoted in that article is out of date. Buffet just signed a PPA for 3.87c/kWh.

http://m.pv-magazine.com/news/details/b ... 100020120/
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GRA
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Mon Jul 13, 2015 5:57 pm

drees wrote:The 7c/kWh quoted in that article is out of date. Buffet just signed a PPA for 3.87c/kWh.

http://m.pv-magazine.com/news/details/b ... 100020120/


Well, yeah, it's out of date. Did you miss the fact that my message, which began with "Excellent news!", was in reply to Ed's post announcing the $0.0387/kWh PPA?
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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drees
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Wed Jul 15, 2015 1:36 am

GRA wrote:Did you miss the fact that my message, which began with "Excellent news!", was in reply to Ed's post announcing the $0.0387/kWh PPA?

Doh, I did. :oops:

That's what happens when reading a slow loading website with insufficient contrast on a mobile device.
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GRA
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Wed Jul 15, 2015 2:58 pm

drees wrote:
GRA wrote:Did you miss the fact that my message, which began with "Excellent news!", was in reply to Ed's post announcing the $0.0387/kWh PPA?

Doh, I did. :oops:

That's what happens when reading a slow loading website with insufficient contrast on a mobile device.
;) It is getting pretty damned frustrating. :( The contrast is okay on a Chromebook, not so hot (setting apart quoted text) on my desktop, and I don't have a smart phone (enough, already - I need my daily non-digital time)! But the wait for a page load is just getting ridiculous. ~20 seconds response time per is a huge time suck.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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RegGuheert
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Thu Mar 17, 2016 1:39 pm

Could California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant be forced to go dark?
A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.
So, what would keeping Ivanpah open mean? More taxpayer money wasted to prop up this failed investment by huge corporations? Why not let these corporations ACTUALLY accept the risk for their investments?

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. 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.
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GRA
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Re: $2.2 billion solar thermal plant known as Ivanpah

Thu Mar 17, 2016 5:45 pm

RegGuheert wrote:Could California’s massive Ivanpah solar power plant be forced to go dark?
A federally backed, $2.2 billion solar project in the California desert isn’t producing the electricity it is contractually required to deliver to PG&E Corp., which says the solar plant may be forced to shut down if it doesn’t receive a break Thursday from state regulators.
So, what would keeping Ivanpah open mean? More taxpayer money wasted to prop up this failed investment by huge corporations? Why not let these corporations ACTUALLY accept the risk for their investments?

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. 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.

At the time it was proposed and construction began, no one was predicting that PV would cost substantially less, because the Chinese PV tsunami hadn't struck yet. It was only well along in development that the economics shifted to favor PV, and Google announced at that time that they wouldn't back any more CSP plants like this one. Now, given the sunk costs, it would make no sense to shut the plant down, unless there's no possibility for improvement. And CSP still has the advantage of storage/load-shifting, while other( inexpensive) storage for renewables has yet to appear in the scale required.
Guy [I have lots of experience designing/selling off-grid AE systems, some using EVs but don't own one. Local trips are by foot, bike and/or rapid transit].

The 'best' is the enemy of 'good enough'. Copper shot, not Silver bullets.

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