By contrast, there are zero solar thermal with energy storage projects planned or under construction in the United States outside of Crescent Dunes. Even among ardent renewables advocates, solar thermal is widely …
Crescent Dunes is a 110-megawatt power plant with total reported capital costs of $910 million, according to its website. That’s $8,200 per kilowatt. The Vogtle reactors — also DOE loan guarantee recipients — are a combined 2,234 megawatts at a reported cost of about $14 billion, or $6,700 per kilowatt.
The Vogtle reactors will generate full power roughly 90 percent of the time. Even with the ability to store power once the sun has gone down, Crescent Dunes will only generate power about 50 percent of the time. After you adjust for capacity factor, or the actual production of a power plant as a proportion of nameplate capacity, Vogtle’s cost advantage is enormous.