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Comparative Levelized Cost Analysis of Transmitting Renewable Solar Energy


A bottom-up cost analysis for delivering utility-scale PV-generated electricity as hydrogen through pipelines and as electricity through power is undertaken. Techno-economic, generation, and demand data for California are used to calculate the levelized cost of transmitting (LCOT) energy and the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) prior to distribution. High-voltage levels of 230 kV and 500 kV and 24-inch and 36-inch pipelines for 100 to 700 miles of transmission are considered. At 100 miles of transmission, the cost of transmission between each medium is comparable. At longer distances, the pipeline scenarios become increasingly cheaper at low utilization levels. The all-electric pathways utilizing battery energy storage systems can meet 95% of the load for as low as 356 USD/MWh, whereas when meeting 100% of load with the hydrogen gas turbine and fuel cell pathways, the costs are 278 and 322 USD/MWh, respectively.

Funding source: This research was funded by University of California Office of the President as a part of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Renewable Energy Storage Project contract.
Related subjects: Policy & Socio-Economics
Countries: United States

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