A study finds that “just the operating costs of many existing coal assets” now exceed total costs for new solar and wind power in the Mountain West. The Tri-State utility, for example, could save $600 million by 2030 by phasing out five coal units in favor of solar, wind and purchases of wholesale capacity and power.
According to a recent study, the benefits of distributed storage would well exceed its costs, making storage a cost-effective resource that utilities must employ under Massachusetts law. The benefit/cost findings may be applicable in other states, to the extent that the Massachusetts grid is representative of other grids nationwide.
A simple comparison of per-MWh costs for solar versus PacifiCorp’s existing coal-fired generation found that new solar would cost less than the going-forward costs of 11 coal units with a combined 2.73 GW of capacity.
A study by UT-Austin finds that 11 GW of solar power in Texas would be the optimal capacity to complement the state’s existing wind generation in meeting electricity demand throughout the year. While the results reflect a carbon price scenario, they may still provide near-term guidance.
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