1. When you say consumers in the Mountain West could save $600 million in avoided operating expenses and fixed costs of legacy coal plants through 2030, does that mean mostly homeowners and business would invest in their own solar systems and maybe some energy storage, or does the scenario include utilities developing solar power plants?
The $600 million savings estimate assumes that coal-fired generation is replaced with new utility-scale renewable generation, as well as capacity purchases. This estimate excludes any savings potential from distributed generation or storage.
2. What is the cost of developing new solar power plants in Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, and Nebraska vs. new coal?
We used benchmark pricing, revealed in competitive procurement processes from regional utilities (e.g., Xcel Energy and NV Energy), of $23-27/MWh for 2023 in-service date, utility-scale PV projects in CO and NV. We did not make separate estimates for each state.