Also in the letter: FERC and CAISO drama. In addition, US solar energy costs decreased across all market segments from 2019 to 2020. And – the solar boom arrives in Ohio.
December 18, 2020
Texas ranks first in carbon-free power generation (130.6 million MWh), with 64% of that generated from wind power. Illinois produced the second highest volume of carbon-free electricity (114.2 MWh), with 86.5% of production coming from nuclear power. California produced the third highest volume (96.5 MWh) with a balanced portfolio of hydropower (38.3 MWh), solar (28.3 MWh), nuclear (16.2 MWh) and wind (14.5 MWh) that the total electricity generation of the state. California is followed by Pennsylvania, Washington, New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee, all of which are supported by large contributions from nuclear and hydropower. Source: Hitachi ABB Power Grids
Countries with the highest volume of electricity generation in 2019 that come from carbon-free resources, MWh
US solar system costs fell across all market segments from 2019 to 2020 as module prices continued to lower system costs. While the shortage of glass and ethylene-vinyl acetate laminate caused solar panel prices to spike in late 2020, they were still declining year over year. According to Wood Mackenzie’s recently published US solar PV system pricing report, the average cost of 100 megawatt utility systems in 2020 is $ 0.94 / W, with the potential to drop 19% by 2025 ( all specified wattages are DC). These costs will decrease by 13% from 2021 to 2022, driven by the price reduction on modules as Section 201 tariffs are expected to expire on imported products. Source: Wood Mackenzie
Average costs for 100 MW single-axis tracker all-in PV systems on a US supply scale with bifacial modules and 1,500-volt central inverters
Note: This cost forecast does not assume a prolongation or increase scenario as per Section 201.
The solar boom is coming in Ohio: The overwhelming demand is transforming the state into a solar system despite a decade of renewable energy policies. Ohio currently has barely 100 megawatts of utility-scale solar power. By then next year it should have more than 400 megawatts. And if every project that has filed papers with state regulators is built, the total output would exceed 5,000 megawatts by the mid-2020s. So what’s going on here? The Ohio solar market is booming due to flat and inexpensive land and the high demand for solar power from companies trying to meet clean energy commitments. And this despite years of hostility from the legislature and the governor towards renewable energies. Source: Inside Climate News
FERC commissioners Neil Chatterjee and Richard Glick rejected an effort by Chairman James Danly to hold CAISO accountable for the rolling blackouts from mid-August. FERC opposed an effort by Chairman James Danly to hold CAISO accountable for the rolling blackouts in mid-August, using the Commission’s powers under Section 206 of the Federal Power Act (EL21-19). In rare cases, the commission voted 2: 1 against a proposal for a regulation in which CAISO would have had to prove that the demand can be met in the event of extreme heat events. In the midst of a western heat wave from August 14th to 15th, CAISO ordered rolling power outages because solar energy subsided in the evening, but demand remained high. More than a million residents lost electricity for a short time. CAISO narrowly avoided power outages on Labor Day weekend during another heat wave. The draft regulation notes that the heat events of August 14-19, 2020 may indicate that the existing CAISO tariff may not be enough to ensure sufficient resources are available to meet the load and maintain system reliability. Source: RTO Insider
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