Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend down

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Agri-Pulse:The cost of building some renewable energy generators is down, according to a data analysis released this week by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Among newly constructed utility-scale electric generators in 2016, annual capacity-weighted average construction costs for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and onshore wind turbines fell.New construction for wind and solar power were among the year’s most popular generation additions, with natural gas rounding out the top three. These three technologies accounted for approximately 93 percent of added capacity. Total electric generating capacity increased 50 percent over 2015.Solar PV construction has steadily declined since 2013 when costs were $3,705 per kilowatt (kW) for construction. In 2016, the construction cost was $2,436 per kW as 500 PV generating units added 8 gigawatts (GW) to the energy mix. The EIA could not predict how 2018 tariffs on imported panels might affect future solar PV costs.Wind capacity additions were the most popular in 2016. Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects with a total of 8.8 GW. Construction costs were down slightly from 2015, at $1,630 per kW. The data show capacity-weighted costs were lower for larger wind plants due to shared infrastructure costs.Unlike PV solar and wind generation, construction costs for natural gas generators increased slightly in 2016. In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9.8 GW, were added to the electric grid.More: Construction costs decline for wind, solarKallanish Energy:Nearly 500 PV generating units totaling 8,000 megawatts (MW) were added to the electric grid in 2016, making it the second-most common technology installed in 2016, after wind turbines.Utilities added 84 wind turbine projects, totaling 8,800 MW, to the electric grid in 2016. The construction costs for onshore wind generators in 2016 reached $1,630/kW, a slight decrease from 2015.Capacity-weighted costs tend to be lower for larger wind plants. In the past three years, most new wind capacity has been larger plants — 89% of 2016 wind turbine additions were to sites with more than 100 MW. As the capacity added at a site increases, the capacity-weighted construction cost decreases because the siting and infrastructure costs are shared by more turbines and capacity.Wind class — the wind speeds for which a wind turbine is optimized — can also affect wind generator costs; wind turbines designed for high- and medium-speed winds (classes 1 and 2) averaged about $100/kW more than turbines designed for low wind (class 3).In 2016, 100 natural gas-fired generators, totaling 9,800 MW, were added to the electric grid. Costs averaged $895/kW, an increase from $812/kW in 2015. Of the 9,00 MW added, 3,600 MW were combustion turbines.More: Average U.S. construction costs for solar, wind fell in 2016 Latest U.S. Energy Information Agency data: solar and wind costs trend downlast_img read more

INDOT Reminds Motorists To Be On Lookout For Potholes

first_imgThe Indiana Department of Transportation asks motorists in southeast Indiana to be on the alert for potholes on highways and interstates. .The rise and fall in temperatures following last week’s severe weather is a recipe for creating potholes. As temperatures continue to cycle up and down, more potholes will form. INDOT maintenance crews—after clearing roads from the “Arctic blast”—worked throughout last weekend filling potholes. These efforts continue. But with nearly 5,000 lane miles to maintain in southeast Indiana, it’s a big job.Potholes are created when water seeps into cracks in roadway and freezes. As ice, it expands—making the cracks larger. When ice melts, it contracts—leaving those large cracks which, under traffic, allow pavement to break loose and become dislodged.Recurring freeze/thaw cycles cause breakout conditions for potholes.With hot mix asphalt plants closed at the end of the construction season, INDOT crews must make temporary patches with a cold mix of liquid asphalt and small stone. Cold mix patches require ongoing maintenance. Even so, the potholes can reopen several times through the winter. When hot mix plants reopen in the spring, INDOT maintenance personnel clean out the potholes and make permanent repairs.Harry Maginity, Media Relations Director for INDOT, offered some tips for drivers to remember this time of year:“Don’t follow another vehicle so close you don’t see a pothole in the road. Secondly, when you swerve make sure your not swerving into traffic in the other lane.”Drivers are also urged to report potholes to Seymour District’s customer service desk at 877-305-7611.last_img read more