Wind and solar power purchase agreement (PPA) prices have declined dramatically in recent years, establishing a trend that continues. The levelized prices for power from utility-scale solar projects (5 MW and larger) declined by 73 percent from a capacity-weighted average of $154.20 levelized (in real $2015 dollars) in 2009 to an average of $41.10 per MWh levelized in 2015. Recent solar PPAs in California, the Southwest and Texas are priced as aggressively as $35/MWh levelized, or lower. At the same time, wind power PPAs have declined by more than 45 percent since 2009, from an average of $69.06 per MWh levelized (in real 2015 dollars) in 2009 to an average of $37 per MWh levelized in 2015. Recent PPAs in the interior U.S. have been cheaper still, within a range of $20.68 to $26.43 per MWh levelized (in real 2015 dollars). These steep declines in have been driven by sharp drops in installation costs and improvements in operating efficiencies and performance. All of these PPA prices also have benefitted from subsidies in the form of the wind production tax credit (PTC) and the solar investment tax credit (ITC).
Renew Economy 19th April 2017 read more »