Cost Reductions

Table 4 shows the total plant capital cost for each technology case on a $/kW/m2 basis. The technology shows a 30% cost reduction on a $/kW basis and a 55% reduction on a $/m2 basis. These cost reductions are due to: larger plants being built, increased collector production volumes, building projects in solar power park developments, and saving s through competitive bidding. In general, the per kW capital cost of power plants decreases as the size of the plan t increases. For trough plants, a 49% reduction in the power block equipment cost results by increasing the power plant size from 30 to 320 MW. The increased production volume of trough solar collectors, as a result of larger solar fields and multiple plants being built in the same year, reduces trough collector costs by 44%. Power parks allow fo r efficiencies in construction and cost reduction through competitive bidding of multiple projects. A 10% cost reduction is assumed for competitive bidding in later projects.

The annual operation and maintenance (O&M) costs for each technology are shown in Table 4. O&M costs show a reduction of almost 80%. This large cost reduction is achieved through increasing size of the power plant, increasin g the annual solar capacity factor, operating plants in a solar power park environment, and continued improvements i n O&M efficienc ies. Larger plants reduce operator labor costs because approximately the same number of people ar e required to operate a 320 MW plant as are required for a 30 MW plant. The solar power park assumes that five plants are co-located and operated by the same company resulting in a 25% O&M savings through reduced overhead an d improved labor and material efficiencies. In addition, about one third of the cost reduction is assumed to occur because of improved O&M efficiency resulting from improved plant design and O&M practices based on the results of the KJC O&M Cost Reduction Study [8].

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