Wholesale Price of Solar Power More Than Double The Price Paid to Other Technologies in 2019: EIA

In 2019, the weighted average wholesale price of solar PV-generated electricity was $83 per megawatthour, more than double the price of wind, fossil fuels, or nuclear, according to an Oct. 9 report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The higher price is partly driven by geography and timing.

Wholesale electricity prices rise when demand within an area increases, and are also influenced by the time of the day when generation occurs as consumer demand changes throughout the day. Solar generation occurs only in the daytime, when power demand and prices tend to be higher, whereas wind turbines reach their maximum output overnight. Last year, more than half the wind generation occurred in the night, resulting in lower average wholesale prices for wind-powered electricity.

Statistics highlighted in the report include:

  • In California, which had the highest photovoltaic capacity – about one-third of total U.S. capacity – the weighted average wholesale price was $100 per megawatthour, about 20 percent higher than the national average;
  • California’s average wholesale electricity price across all technologies was $74 per megawatthour in 2019, more than double the national average of $36 per megawatthour;
  • Wind farms in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas collectively produced 45 percent of total U.S. wind generation in 2019; the average wholesale wind price in these states was $26 per megawatthour compared with $47 in all other states.