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JazzMan
July 2nd 03, 03:08 AM
You seem pretty versed on energy topics. I have
a question for you that you might be able to
answer. It's a strange one, though. How much
photovoltaic generating capacity do you think
could be bought for, say, a billion dollars?
Just looking for rough order of magnitude ballpark
figures.

Appreciate any thoughts you might have on this.

JazzMan
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Anthony Matonak
July 2nd 03, 04:17 AM
JazzMan wrote:
> How much
> photovoltaic generating capacity do you think
> could be bought for, say, a billion dollars?
> Just looking for rough order of magnitude ballpark
> figures.
....

Well, I'm not Nick Pine but I can add up past 10 without
taking my shoes off so perhaps I can help.

First, you have to define what you mean by photovoltaic
generating capacity. Do you mean just the panels? A grid
tied system? A system independent of the grid using some
form of storage? Each one would have different costs.

Let's go with a simple one, a grid tied system using
standard (not off spec) panels and equipment. I've seen
total installed costs for such gear at around $6/watt
for the works, panels, trackers, inverters, labor, etc.
It might be even lower if you are buying in serious bulk.

This makes the math fairly simple. $1,000,000,000 / $6
gives you the number of watts or 166,666,666 watts.
This is about 166.6 megawatts.

How much electricity could this produce in a year? Well,
it all depends on where it is. NREL has some nice maps.
http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/atlas/

If it was located in the southwestern United States we
might expect it to average 7 kWh/m^2/day of sunlight
which roughly equates to 7 hours a day of full sun.
This means it might produce 166.6 x 7 = 1,166.6
megawatt-hours (1,166,666 kwh) a year on average.

Of course, at this scale PV is not the best bang for the
buck for generating electricity via solar. Solar thermal
power plants are less expensive. This is one example:
http://www.kjcsolar.com/

Personally, if I had a billion dollars and I wanted to
spend it on renewable energy then I would look more at
wind farms than solar. Wind turbines are cheaper.

Anthony

Anthony Matonak
July 2nd 03, 04:17 AM
JazzMan wrote:
> How much
> photovoltaic generating capacity do you think
> could be bought for, say, a billion dollars?
> Just looking for rough order of magnitude ballpark
> figures.
....

Well, I'm not Nick Pine but I can add up past 10 without
taking my shoes off so perhaps I can help.

First, you have to define what you mean by photovoltaic
generating capacity. Do you mean just the panels? A grid
tied system? A system independent of the grid using some
form of storage? Each one would have different costs.

Let's go with a simple one, a grid tied system using
standard (not off spec) panels and equipment. I've seen
total installed costs for such gear at around $6/watt
for the works, panels, trackers, inverters, labor, etc.
It might be even lower if you are buying in serious bulk.

This makes the math fairly simple. $1,000,000,000 / $6
gives you the number of watts or 166,666,666 watts.
This is about 166.6 megawatts.

How much electricity could this produce in a year? Well,
it all depends on where it is. NREL has some nice maps.
http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/old_data/nsrdb/redbook/atlas/

If it was located in the southwestern United States we
might expect it to average 7 kWh/m^2/day of sunlight
which roughly equates to 7 hours a day of full sun.
This means it might produce 166.6 x 7 = 1,166.6
megawatt-hours (1,166,666 kwh) a year on average.

Of course, at this scale PV is not the best bang for the
buck for generating electricity via solar. Solar thermal
power plants are less expensive. This is one example:
http://www.kjcsolar.com/

Personally, if I had a billion dollars and I wanted to
spend it on renewable energy then I would look more at
wind farms than solar. Wind turbines are cheaper.

Anthony

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