A 100-megawatt solar array in Tucson, Arizona, coupled with 30-MW energy storage system, is expected to deliver electricity at a record low price of less than US$0.03 per kilowatt-hour when it goes into service in 2019.
The project, coming in at less than half the price of other recent solar procurements, has “smashed expectations of the combined cost of large-scale solar and battery storage,” RenewEconomy notes. The system will be built, owned, and operated by an affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources on land owned by the City of Tucson.
“This new local system combines cost-effective energy production with cutting-edge energy storage, helping us provide sustainable, reliable, and affordable service to all of our customers for decades to come,” said Carmine Tilghman, senior director of energy supply and renewable energy at Tucson Electric Power (TEP).
“The development is significant because it is confirmation that dispatchable renewable energy can compete with peaking gas-fired generators on price,” notes RenewEconomy’s Gilles Parkinson. “Still, Tony Concannon, the head of Reach Solar, which is building a 220-MW solar farm in South Australia, and the former head of the Hazelwood brown coal generator, says solar and storage is already cheaper than gas-fired generation, and the combined cost would soon be ‘well below’ A$100/MWh.”