US: Thin film solar energy sells cheaper than coal fired

01. February 2013 | Applications & Installations, Industry & Suppliers | By:  Max Hall

According to the terms of the proposed PPA for the 50 MW Macho Springs solar park in New Mexico, First Solar would be selling the energy generated by its thin film modules for a record low price for the technology.

New Mexico road sign.

Thin film generated solar energy from the Macho Springs plant in New Mexico will be cheaper than coal fired energy.

News agency Bloomberg cites a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission document relating to the yet-to-be-agreed PPA in which El Paso Electric Company agrees to pay just US$57.90/MWh generated at Macho Springs.

The resulting $0.0579, or six cents, per kWh is less than half the average price of energy generated by new coal-fired power stations (12.8c/kWh) and significantly less than the typical price of thin film generated power (16.3c/kWh, both according to figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance).

The PPA is expected to be signed off by June.


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marco bonvini

Friday, 01.02.2013 22:44

Where did you get those benchmark prices for coal-fired energy (12.8c/kWh) from? Totally mistaken. Please take a look at the DOE web site (www.eia.gov). Prices averaged around 3.2 c/kWh (USD not Euro), especially in the Southern US States. And to get solar energy down to six cents and still making money out of it you need more than 2.500 hours/year. May be in the Andes, not in New Mexico where still the yeld is 1.800. PV Magazines is always very reliable, but this time the infos are misleading.

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