In a new report from Xcel Energy, the company reported unprecedented low bids for wind and solar with storage. Last year, Xcel announced it would close 660 MW worth of coal-fired power capacity at Comanche Generating Station. Xcel subsidiary Public Service Company issue a request for proposals for wind, solar, natural gas, and storage.
Wind alone was bid at an astonishingly low median price of $18.10/MWh, smashing previous records. A total of 17,380 MW of wind capacity was bid with this as the median price.
The big surprise, however, was the very low bid for wind and solar plus storage. Wind and solar plus battery storage had seven bids for a total of 4,048 MWh at a median bid of $30.60. The energy storage projects ranged from 4 to 10 hours in duration.
Xcel went on to state, “The response to this Solicitation is unprecedented with over 430 total individual proposals (238 total projects) received from bidders. Over 350 of these individual proposals are renewable energy proposals or renewable energy with storage proposals.” Lithium-ion technology was the only battery storage proposed in this solicitation.
Storage Bid Smashes Previous Record
The previous record for renewable energy plus storage was $.045/kWh, with Tucson Electric Power.
While few details of the projects are known, the bid is lower than any yet revealed. Prior to the Tucson Electric Power bid, two other bids were made public for Hawaii. A bid was set for $0.11/kWh from AES.
Recently, AES joined forces with Siemens to form a new company in the global storage market — Fluence.
Tesla set a PPA bid at $0.139/kWh in a 20 year contract for solar plus storage, a 13 MW, 52 MWh project completed in March 2017.
It is becoming increasingly clear that wind, solar, and storage are becoming unstoppable, and that coal is on the way out. The newly announced renewables plus storage bids have accelerated that process. With storage breaking records and new solar and wind bids lower than some existing conventional operation and maintenance, the time has arrived.