Way to go L.A.!

In a deal expected to be approved later this month, undercutting the cost of nuclear and fossil fuels, Los Angeles Power and Water officials have created a 400-megawatt solar and battery-storage project that could eventually render fossil fuel and nuclear power obsolete in Los Angeles county. 

The twenty five year contract would serve seven percent of the electricity demand at 1.997 cents per kwh for solar energy and 1.3 cents for battery power. 

According to James Barner, the agency’s manager for strategic initiatives, “This is the lowest solar-photovoltaic price in the united states, and it is the largest and lowest-cost solar and high-capacity battery storage project in the U.S., and we believe in the world today.”

The price is half of the estimated cost of power from a new natural gas plant, but will not rid Los Angeles of natural gas at this point.  The city will still depend on gas and hydro to supply its overnight power, but the batteries in The Eland Project will take the load off of the fossil demand as the sun sets. 

Los Angeles can count on solar power generation basically from  a.m. to  p.m., but the batteries can effectively extend that by four hours, to 11 p.m.   Because the output can be varied over time, it will not be fixed at four hours. 

8minute Solar Energy will develop the plant on 2,653 acres of privately-owned land in the Barrend Ridge renewable corridor in Kern County.  But the hero of this story is the storage, at the same 1.3 cents per kwh, which allow flexibility and is far below the lowest know solar price of 1.97 cents per kwh for a project in Mexico without the storage planned into it.  Gas would have run 4 to 4.3 cents per kwh and nuclear would be estimated at 12 cents per kwh.