Utility Project in Nevada Prices Solar at Record-Low $23.76 Per Megawatt-Hour
Just days after a project in Arizona secured the lowest confirmed price for a U.S. utility solar project, at $24.99 per megawatt-hour, 8minutenergy’s 300-megawatt Eagle Shadow Mountain Solar Farm has set a new record, with a firm offer of $23.76/MWh across a 25-year power purchase agreement.
“That comfortably beats the [Central Arizona Project] on pricing, while delivering 10 times the capacity,” Greentech Media notes. “Records don’t last long in the cleantech business.”
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Yet another new solar installation, Sempra Renewables’ Copper Mountain Solar 5 project in Boulder City, Nevada, is offering a current price of $21.55/MWh, though that amount is set to increases 2.5% per year over a 25-year contract period.
The cluster of low prices is emerging in spite of the Trump administration’s decision to impose tariffs on imported solar cells and modules. “We’ve always expected prices to drop a lot,” said GTM Research solar markets analyst Colin Smith. “With everything that’s happened with tariffs recently, I’m surprised to see them this low this soon.”
8minutenergy CEO and founder Martin Hermann attributed his company’s record bid to “sophisticated design and engineering”, Greentech reports, as well as recent progress on solar equipment and installation practices.
“Eagle Shadow Mountain is unique because it’s located in an area of great solar irradiance and with remarkable access to transmission assets,” he wrote in an email. “We are able to benefit from low interconnection costs, for example, by utilizing transmission assets that had previously been allocated for the Reid Gardner coal plant, ensuring that those assets are not stranded.”
In a regulatory filing, utility NV Energy noted that, “with these projects, the Companies lock in a substantial level of renewable energy supply at the current market’s attractive pricing for the long-term benefit of its customers, before the [solar Investment Tax Credit] expires.”