In this week’s Solar News Roundup, renewables replace coal generation in New England, and research from GTM suggests solar will move below natural gas on a cost basis by 2023.
New England coal-powered plant to be replaced by renewable energy facility
Somerset, Massachusetts is replacing a coal-powered power plant with a renewable energy facility to convert and store offshore wind electricity. Construction on the new project, dubbed the Anbaric Renewable Energy Center, is expected to begin in 2021 and will end with a 1,200 megawatt (MW), high-voltage DC converter that will act as the plug-in between offshore wind and the electricity grid. Additionally, the facility will include 400 MW of battery storage on site to help provide energy when winds are low.
“I think this will be the single largest energy source in Southern New England, so the contributions to New England as a whole are very considerable,” said Edward Krapels, CEO of Anbaric, the company developing the facility at Brayton Point.
Solar will be cheaper than natural gas just about everywhere by 2023
According to research from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, solar will be able to out-compete natural gas plants worldwide on a cost basis by 2023. As equipment costs continue to fall for solar plants and competitive auctions spread, solar will continue to chase and eventually undercut gas on a levelized cost of energy basis.
Australia, Europe, and Saudi Arabia are some of the markets primed for solar growth, according to Tom Heggarty, Senior Solar Analyst for Wood Mackenzie. However, as markets expand, profits may become harder to come by due to the auction-based format expanding as well.