Monday, August 25, 2014

Power Plant Costs -- For The Archives -- August 25, 2014; Cost Of Renewable Energy -- Staggering

From an earlier post, March 20, 2014:
  • Solar: $3 million / MW
  • Wind: $2.5 million / MW
  • Natural gas: $865,000 / MW

September 3, 2014: Compare these numbers for the Emmons County (North Dakota) natural gas power plant proposal.

Original Post

A reader sent me a link to a story of Exelon buying a natural gas power plant in Boston; Houston Biz Journal is reporting:
Houston-based Calpine Corp. is buying a natural-gas fired power plant in Massachusetts from Chicago-based Exelon Corp. for $530 million to boost its presence in that area.
The deal — which translates to $655 per kilowatt — is expected to close in the fourth quarter and will increase Calpine’s footprint in the New England competitive wholesale power market.
The plant, Fore River Generating Station, was built in 2003 and is 12 miles southeast of Boston.  
According to wiki: the plant has a rated capacity of 726 megawatts. Exelon says the same thing: 726 megawatts.

$530,000,000 / 726 = $730,000 / MW. Looks like Calpine got a pretty good deal.

Now, let's see if the solar cost is still accurate. In another story sent, the link sent by the same reader, is reporting that Verizon is adding more solar power:
Verizon announced today that it will invest nearly $40 million to expand the on-site green energy program that it launched in 2013. This year, Verizon will install 10.2 megawatts of new solar power systems at eight Verizon network facilities in five states – California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. This investment nearly doubles the amount of renewable power generated by solar energy systems installed at six Verizon facilities last year.
To date, Verizon has invested nearly $140 million in on-site green energy. With the 2014 solar investment announced today, Verizon is on target to deploy upward of 25 megawatts of green energy upon completion of the new solar projects.
$40,000,000 / 10.2 megawatts = $3.9 million / MW. Of course, there may be other offsets that are not being reported, but almost $4 million / MW of solar power (when the sun is shining) seems a tad expensive (compared to $750,000 / MW of natural gas), but is in line with earlier figures. As long as Verizon subscribers don't mind paying for this, seems fair. Whatever makes folks feel good. China just brought another huge coal-plant on line today. And they will do so again, tomorrow. And the next day.
Other Miscellaneous Energy News

This will help with the tsunami of oil, natural gas, condensate tsunami hitting the gulf coast. Houston Biz Journal is reporting:
Houston-based LyondellBasell Industries will build a new chemical plant in southeastern Texas that may cost more than $1 billion.
The rapidly growing chemical company plans to produce 900 million pounds of propylene oxide, or PO, and 2 billion pounds of tertiary butyl alcohol, or TBA, and its derivatives annually at the plant.
The specifics do not interest me; the reason for posting the story -- further evidence of the widening gap between US and EU energy industry.

Look at the size of that investment: another $1 billion. 

No comments:

Post a Comment