Published on September 10th, 2014 | by Guest Contributor16
Wholesale Solar Grid Parity Chart
September 10th, 2014 by Guest Contributor
Retail parity – known as socket parity – for rooftop solar is a reality in many countries, including Australia. What has been a bigger challenge for the solar industry is to attain wholesale parity – where the cost of solar farms can compete with the prevailing wholesale price of electricity.
A new European study has found that large-scale solar PV with single axis tracking is already at grid parity with wholesale prices in one country, and soon will be with others.
The study by research firm Eclareon find that Chile – with high electricity prices and excellent solar resources – is already at grid parity, which explains why it is one of the hottest markets for large-scale solar at the moment.
The study notes that Morocco, Italy and Mexico are also, or have been close recently to grid parity. In Italy, though, the recent slump in wholesale prices has temporarily taken wholesale parity away from solar, while Mexico is also implementing a large restructure of its market.
Eclareon defines large-scale solar as plant above 50MW and with single axis tracking – which is more expensive that normal flat plate installations. Australia does not have a 50MW solar plant, although two are being built now and another (the first in the country with single axis tracking at such a scale) is soon to be built at Moree.
Interestingly, the research is sponsored by the Copper Institute. In Chile, copper mines are particularly interested in solar to reduce the high cost of diesel of grid-sourced power in that country. Last week, the largest copper company signed a deal to take the output from a 70MW solar plant to be built in that country by SunEdison.