NewEnergyNews: Big Solar Getting Bigger And Cheaper

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  • The World’s New Energy Right Now

    Thursday, December 19, 2019

    Big Solar Getting Bigger And Cheaper

    Berkeley Lab’s “Utility-Scale Solar” report sees continued growth and falling costs for big solar

    December 18, 2019 (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    “…[The 2019 edition of Berkeley Lab’s Utility-Scale Solar report presents] analysis of empirical project-level data from the U.S. fleet of ground-mounted photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar-thermal power (CSP) projects with capacities exceeding 5 MWAC…More than 4 GWAC of new utility-scale PV capacity came online in 2018, bringing cumulative installed capacity to more than 24.5 GWAC across 39 states… Median installed project prices from a 2.5 GWAC sample of projects completed in 2018 declined to $1.6/WAC (or $1.2/WDC), with the lowest 20th percentile priced at or below $1.3/WAC (or $0.9/WDC)…

    Project-level capacity factors vary widely, from 12% to 35% (on an AC basis)… [PPA prices] continued to decline, to below $30/MWh on average and with a few PPAs even below $20/MWh (levelized, in 2018 dollars)…Although solar’s “duck curve”-related decline in wholesale market value within California has been much-publicized, in most other regions of the country, solar still provides above-average value… Adding battery storage to shift a portion of excess mid-day solar generation into evening hours is one way to increase the value of solar… [A]t least 55 GW of PV+storage projects were in the interconnection queues across the country at the end of 2018, accounting for 20% of all solar capacity in the queues…” click here for more

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