26 November 2014


First Solar Recurrent Energy

TOP 5 Cheapest Solar kWh’s in the World

Author: Alexandra Mebane, Solarplaza


Solar energy has finally been made available for our disposal in many forms, ranging from personal solar powered backpacks to large-scale industrial solar powered plants. Because of the affordability and dominance of PV in the modern world, it is time to reveal the most up-to-date Top 5 Cheapest Solar kWh’s in the World.


 #1 - Austin Energy PV Project - $.05 cents per kWh

Recurrent Energy confirmed that it was awarded a 150 MW contract by Austin Energy for the largest single solar power plant in Texas, USA, which is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2015, with an estimated completion date to be set for 2016 at an unknown location in West Texas. The plan is to open two solar farms, the largest with 350,000 solar panels for 100 MW of power, and the smaller of the two with 150,000 panels for 50 MW of power. The winning bid for this project was a mere $.05 cents per kWh, breaking records all over the world for what is now the cheapest solar power project in existence.


Off-taker : Austin Energy
Developer : Recurrent Energy
Location : TBA (West Texas area), Texas, USA
Average Solar Irradiance per Year : +/- 1898 kWh/M2
Price per kWh : $.05 cents
Project Size : 150 MW
Expected Year of Completion : 2016 







 #2 - Macho Springs Solar Project- $05.7 cents per kWh

First Solar has already begun building New Mexico’s largest solar power plant located in Deming, NM, USA. This plant will produce 50 MW of PV power, generating enough clean energy to fuel approximately 18,000 homes in New Mexico. Encouragingly, the Macho Springs project will displace more than 40,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in southern New Mexico and west Texas. This project is particularly noteworthy for two reasons: the cost per kWh is as little as $05.7 cents, and this project alone created an estimated 300 jobs for American citizens.


Off-taker : El Paso Electric
Developer : First Solar
Location : Deming, New Mexico, USA
Average Solar Irradiance per Year : +/- 2044 kWh/M2
Price per kWh : $05.7 cents
Project Size : 50 MW
Expected Year of Completion : End of 2014







 #3 - Georgia Power Solar Project- $06.5 center per kWh

Georgia Power is set to produce a whopping ten new solar plants throughout the state of Georgia, USA, with completion dates between 2015 and 2016. 515 MW of power will be distributed among these ten new plants, fluctuating between 30 and 101 MW per plant. While the selected PPA’s for each plant were not specifically revealed, the average purchasing price per plant came in at a low $06.5 cents per kWh.


Off-taker : Georgia Power
Developer : TBA
Location : TBA (Georgia) Georgia, USA
Average Solar Irradiance per Year : +/- 1679 kWh/M2
Price per kWh : $06.5 cents
Project Size : 515 MW
Expected Year of Completion : 2016







 #4 - Palo Alto Renewable Energy Project- $06.9 cents per kWh

In 2013, the city of Palo Alto, CA, USA approved a 30-year PPA for the minimal cost of $06.9 cents per kWh. The project is approved for 80 MW of power which is split between three projects, one of 40 MW and two of 20 MW installments.These combined MWs are expected to provide enough power for around 65,000 of the city’s residents.This project is the lowest price procurement in solar energy that California has seen in the last decade, serving as a reminder to the rest of the state that towns and cities running entirely on renewable energy is now a reality, not just a distant dream.


Off-taker : Southern California Edison
Developer : Silverado Power and Ridgeline Energy
Location : Palo Alto, California, USA
Average Solar Irradiance per Year : +/- 1715 kWh/M2
Price per kWh : $06.9 cents
Project Size : 80 MW
Expected Year of Completion : 2017






 #5 - The Green Energy Corridor- $08.6 cents per kWh

India’s south-eastern state of Andhra Pradesh will soon be home to over 500 MW of thin film solar energy grids thanks to First Solar’s low bids of $08.6 cents for 40 MW of the project and $08.7 cents for an additional 40 MW. Their other bids ranged between $.09 cents and $0.13 cents, still very low and competitive with other projects around the world. The projects in their entirety are aiming to be completed by 2019, with several of the projects facing earlier completion dates within the next two years after officially signing 25 year-long PPA’s last month on October 29, 2014. Attention is now being turned to Andhra Pradesh as it boasts over 300 sunny days per year, and expects to take on even larger solar projects in the near future, which will result in a national 15GW roll out of PV, for which plans are currently underway. Colin Meehan, the director of regulatory and public affairs at First Solar emphasizes, “The main hurdle has really shifted or eroded over the last few years which is … that solar was expensive and not cost-competitive,” Meehan told the Reporter-Telegram. “That probably was the case up until a few years ago. But we’re now at a place where a new solar power plant costs usually less than a new natural gas power plant, and that’s a tectonic shift that still hasn’t been felt through the whole marketplace.”


Off-taker :
Developer : First Solar
Location : Andhra Pradesh, India
Average Solar Irradiance per Year : +/- 1851 kWh/M2
Price per kWh : $08.6/08.7 cents
Project Size : 500 MW
Expected Year of Completion : 2019










#1 TX project-

#2 Macho Springs-

#3 Georgia-

#4 Palo Alto-

#5 India-


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