Agua Caliente Reaches 200-Megawatt Milestone - Today, NRG Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NRG), MidAmerican Solar and First Solar, Inc. (Nasdaq: FSLR) announced that the 290-megawatt AC Agua Caliente solar project, currently under construction in Yuma County, Ariz., is more than two-thirds complete and delivering more than 200 megawatts to the electric grid.
This article mentions elimination of CO2 emissions but fails to mention how much the facility cost to build--more specifically, how much it cost the American taxpayers in the form of 1603 cash grants. Utility scale solar PV costs over 3 times as much as a gas turbine combined cycle plant but can put less than 1/4 of the amount of MWh on the grid that a GTCC potentially could if it ran base load. A gas fired GTCC replacing an older coal fired plant can cut the CO2 emissions by close to 60% around the clock. The peak output of solar PV is typically 4 to 5 hours ahead of the typical peak electricity usage time. Since solar PV is non-dispatchable and highly variable on cloudy days, it still must be backed up by fossil power so either a fossil plant has to be built for backup or an older, less efficient, and dirtier running fossil plant has to be kept in service.
This rush to build wind and solar PV using taxpayer money strictly because they are 'renewable' without considering the overall implications upon round-the-clock, dispatchable power and the retirement of older facilities is a stupid path to follow and will lead this country into economic meltdown.