By Kevin Kilty – Re-Blogged From WUWT
This past March 12 the Center of the American Experiment (CAE) released a study of projected power costs for Minnesota on the basis of its new policy mandating 50% renewable energy by year 20301. This study was soon afterward reported on the blogs PowerLine and Manhattan Contrarian.
Among the assumptions CAE made to calculate levelized cost of energy (LCOE) was that capacity factor for wind plants supplying Minnesota in year 2030 would average 40% over the course of a year. While this is not as high as the 44% projected by the Energy Information Agency (EIA), or the 40-60% forecast by National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for year 20302, it still seemed high to me, and I began a short study of capacity factor to verify these assumptions. As sources of information I searched the various annual electricity profiles of EIA and technical documents of the EIA, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and NREL.