Group asks Entergy to improve resource planning – pv magazine USA


The utility overestimated the costs of renewables in its resource plan and did not seriously consider hybrid solar and storage systems, a stakeholder group said.

The solar power prices used by Entergy Arkansas in its resource plan are too high, a report from a stakeholder group said, as the utility purchases electricity from a 100 MW solar power plant at a price “nearly 40% lower” than the solar costs used in its resource plan. The group also cited similar solar costs in Georgia and Kentucky.

And although Entergy is building a solar-battery hybrid project, the group said the utility did not model solar-battery hybrids when developing its plan. “This is a mistake,” the group said, highlighting the federal battery storage tax credit charged by solar energy, the added value of solar coupling capacity and storage, and the service’s decision. New Mexico’s public to replace a coal-fired power plant with solar power. and storage hybrids.

The stakeholder group consists of the solar companies Stellar Sun and Scenic Hill Solar, the Southern Renewable Energy Association and Arkansas Advanced Energy Association business groups, and four nonprofits: Union of Concerned Scientists, Alliance for Affordable Energy, Sierra Club and National Audubon Society.

The utility told stakeholders that its planning model could select both solar resources and batteries “if a combination is the most economical resource alternative”, and that “once a specific need is determined ”, the utility would consider factors such as co-location and the possibility of a battery receiving a federal tax credit. The baseline utility scenario includes 2.4 GW of “solar + battery” capacity, with installations starting in 2032.

The stakeholder report called on the utility to “continually improve its resource planning process”.

Entergy plans to add 300 MW of solar power and 200 MW of wind power by 2025 as part of its preferred “Sensitivity Portfolio 4”. These amounts reflect the utility’s existing renewable energy tender, said Simon Mahan of the Southern Renewable Energy Association, a member of the stakeholder group.

Still, “the sensitivity portfolio 4 is not very good,” Mahan said. He favors portfolios of sensitivity 1, 2 and 3, which would add comparable amounts of renewables by 2029, and also close coal plants earlier, as shown in an Entergy slideshow. All of the sensitivity portfolios omitted a 650 MW gas unit which is included in the utility baseline.

The first coal unit withdrawals would fall under the Sensitivity 1 portfolio, which Entergy said would cost $ 6 million more than its baseline scenario. “That $ 6 million, however, assumes higher priced wind and solar resources,” Mahan said, “so they didn’t get it right.”

While cost should be the “primary” concern in selecting a preferred portfolio, the stakeholder group said the utility should also “assess and rate” the public health impacts of each portfolio.

The stakeholder group report was included as an annex to the public service resource plan.

Entergy Arkansas used the Aurora Capacity Expansion Model to prepare their resource plan. The utility serves 722,000 customers in 63 of Arkansas’ 75 counties. Its parent company also operates Entergy utilities in Texas, Louisiana, New Orleans and Mississippi.

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