It is far more expensive to build solar or wind plants than natural gas. A few more data points:
8/25 – Million Dollar Way – Power Plant Costs – For the Archives – August 25, 2014; Cost of Renewable Energy – Staggering – Bruce Oksol accumulates some costs for building different kinds of power facilities:
From a 3/20/14 article:
- $3.0M / MW – solar
- $2.5M / MW – wind
- $0.85M / MW – natural gas
New data points:
- $0.73M / MW – natural gas – Purchase of an existing 726MW natural gas power plant for $530M. See MDW for two links identifying capacity at 726 MW. See Calpine scoops up power plant for more than half a billion for price tag of $530M. Article says price is $655/kW, which equals $0.65M/MW. I’ll go with the MDW calc of $730 using cited power capacity.
- $3.9M / MW – solar – Verizon building 10.2MW of new solar facilities for price tag of $40M. See article at Sunpower here.
So that means about $4M/MW for only-when-the-sun-shines power and about $0.7M/MW for all-the-time power.
Roughly 5 times as expensive. Ouch.