As prices for renewable energy costs and PPAs continue to decline, clean energy may be closer to winning the battle with fossil fuels. According to an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report, the average levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for utility-scale solar reached as low as $0.10 per kilowatt-hour, a price decrease of nearly of 73 percent between 2010 and 2017. This pricing is comparable to $0.05 and $0.17 per kilowatt-hour for fossil fuel power. This downward slope in price has continued to decline from 2014 to 2017 with more solar projects moving toward the global average coal and gas LCOE range.
As PPA prices continue to fall, solar project owners are searching for top optimization strategies to better design their utility scale projects and receive maximum ROIs. Many are beginning to integrate solar tracking technologies to their projects, which GTM reports can increase energy production from 15 to 25 percent compared to fixed-tilt racking systems. By implementing best practices including power density and range of motion, energy production can continue to increase up to 5 percent per practice. With improved design, utility scale projects can achieve their greatest potential energy production and continue to lower the cost of energy.