Ivanpah Solar Plant: The Money

Ivanpah Solar Plant: The Money

No doubt you have read concerns that the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System down at the Nevada-California state line is an environmental disaster. You may even have heard some recent news that the plant is producing far less electricity than promoters promised. Today, I focus instead on whether it is a financial haircut for all Americans.

It’s not uncommon to find learned folks talking about the Ivanpah Solar Plant as though it was paid for with loans that the federal government “guaranteed”. Here’s the San Jose …

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Yesterday Barclay’s said about Nevada…

The British bank downgraded US utilities due to the threat that solar PV generation and battery storage will cause customers to quit – and considers Nevada one of the first places for that to actually happen. The ratings downgrades will increase borrowing costs, which will be paid by consumers.

Barclay’s specifically predict household energy independence will become the smartest economic move in Nevada within the next three years, in part because we have already artificially increased our grid-electricity cost with alternative energy mandates. Most states haven’t …

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April Monthly Report on Ivanpah Released

The new Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System has been demonstrating it’s generating ability the past few weeks. They had it turned on high Sunday, Monday, Tuesday of this week, based on the high production of solar thermal on those days (see each day’s respective Daily Renewables Watch document here). This picture is from the first of those three days (Sunday, May 25, 2014).

This week, Ivanpah filed its Monthly Compliance Report with its California State Regulator. It is 1,131 pages long.

I haven’t been through it, but …

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Ivanpah Solar Thermal Generator Output

The California ISO is the manager of California’s “grid” and keeps track of the quantity of electrical energy contributed to the “grid” by each category of alternative energy, and started reporting solar-thermal separate from solar (photovoltaic) in late 2012. From that time, solar-thermal has been dwarfed by the much more robust solar PV generation. As well, solar PV generation has exploded, with the price of rooftop systems falling so rapidly that utilities are starting to notice decreases in demand.

The data allows us to get a …

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Orphaned Grid Costs Claw At Your Wallet

From this Bloomburg Businessweek story:

The shift toward distributed rooftop power hasn’t yet made a big dent in the profits of large utilities, but they’re beginning to feel the bite. Arizona’s largest utility recently reported quarterly electricity sales had dropped 1.3 percent from a year earlier, in part due to distributed generation. To head off the threat of rooftop solar, utilities in at least five states have asked regulators to begin taxing rooftop solar installation or tacking on fees to connect to the regular grid in order …

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