Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Ivanapah - Worse Than Solyndra

Well, Ivanpah has one advantage. It isn't right next to I-880 with a "For Sale" sign for everyone to see ever day. But Ivanpah is going to cost the American taxpayer a lot more money.
[T]he Green Machine is worried that Ivanpah is equal to Solyndra Times Three. My reasoning is that the 392 megawatt (nominally 400 megawatt) power station will cost 3 billion dollars to build, per the press release of Southern California Edison. Note SCE refuses to publish the terms of the PPA.

Had Southern California Edison deployed 400 megawatts of Chinese silicon solar cells, the fully installed project would have only cost between 1.0 and 1.2 billion dollars for the same quantity of dispatchable electric power. BrightSource makes the claim that their solar thermal system can tolerate passing clouds while PV systems see a drop in output when the cloud passes. I am not a meteorologist and have no clue how often clouds pass by Ivanpah, California -- in the middle of the Mojave -- but will I add an extra 0.2 billion dollars for 20% extra PV cells to kick in when the occasional cloud passes by the solar farm. Note I am not saying the PV farm is a good investment, either, as combined cycle power generation would have been the best investment for SCE’s customers. I am just saying that the PV farm is a far better investment than the solar thermal technology BrightSource promoted.


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