Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wind Farms Still Cost About $2.5 Million / MW; Three Times More Expensive Than Natural Gas

I can never remember the cost comparisons but here was one back on March 24, 2014:
  • Solar: $3 million / MW
  • Wind: $2.5 million / MW
  • Natural gas: $865,000 / MW
Back on March 19, 2014:
So, that's the ball-park, I guess, for wind, about $2.5 million / MW of electricity.

HoustonBusinessJournal is reporting:
A massive wind-power installation backed by Colorado billionaire Philip Anschutz is moving closer to reality, with an application filed with Wyoming authorities to build and operate what may be the biggest wind farm in North America.
The Chokecherry and Sierra Madre Wind Energy Program wind farm is being developed by the Power Company of Wyoming LLC, a subsidiary of The Anschutz Corp. It involves 1,000 wind turbines capable of generating up to 3,000 megawatts of power — enough to support the electricity demands of about 900,000 homes.
The $6 billion wind farm was proposed in 2008, and received a go-ahead from the U.S. Department of Interior, via its Record of Decision on the project, in 2012.
A companion project — a $3 billion, 725-mile power line to be built by TransWest Express LLC, also backed by Anschutz — is being studied by the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM). 
Without the transmission line:
  • $6,000,000,000 / 3,000 MW = $2.0 million / MW (compared to about $500,000 - $1 million for natural gas)
With the transmission line:
  • $3.0 million / MW
So, the numbers still seem to hold true: about $2.5 million / MW for wind, perhaps 3x what it would cost for natural gas and even more than what coal would cost. And yes, the increased monthly utility bill will be paid by the .... homeowner. Industrial manufacturers will get reduced rates.

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