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# Solar Power: How Much Would It Cost To Build A Solar Power Plant? (6/2/2011)

OK so I’m in scince class right now and were doing a project on “Solar Power Plants”and we can’t find anything on them…so would anybody know on how much it would cost to build one?

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Mr. J June 2, 2011 at 3:28 am

Approximately \$ 5,876,908,087.67, that’s an approximation though.

it_is_my_life3478 June 2, 2011 at 4:14 am

This is a very open ended question.

It could be as little as \$ 10. But this solar power plant would only produce enough energy to light a very small light bulb!!

It all depends on the power output of the power station. I would estimate that it would cost about 100 times what it costs to build a fossil fuel powered plant for each megawatt of power produced.

So, a 10GW (Giga Watt) oil fired power plant may cost \$ 1billion to build, so a 10GW solar plant would cost about \$ 100billion to build (and would probably take up 1000 times the land space required for the oil plant)

And they wonder why solar hasn’t caught on yet!

roderick_young June 2, 2011 at 4:58 am

Try looking up “Kramer Junction” for an example of a solar power plant. You can use Google, but here’s one example:

http://www.solel.com/products/pgeneration/ls2/kramerjunction/

That plant uses solar thermal energy to turn conventional turbines.

If you’re looking for data on photovoltaic power, a utility scale plant is probably going to run around \$ 6 a watt today, but expect panel prices to drop up to 25% in the coming year. So a 1 GW plant, a typical size by the way, would cost \$ 6 billion. [Ironically, that first guy who gave a flip answer is pretty close.] Compare this to \$ 1.3 billion for a coal-fired plant of the same size. For costs, see this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fossil_fuel_power_plant