Michael's 2020 Papers

Michael will post his 2020 papers here when his papers are accepted. Stay tuned for more papers! Scroll down to see his new papers!

Solar Power and Energy Storage Northeast 2020, 19-20 Feb, Boston, MA

M Stavy, A Financial Algorithm for Computing the Levelized Cost (US$/MWh) of Storing Solar (Wind) Electricity (LCOS) at a Grid Scale Energy Storage Plant (ESP): An Algorithm for Bankers and Investors


ABSTRACT–This paper discusses the financial and technical principles underlying the levelized cost (LC) method of computing the cost (US$/MWh) of the bulk storage of solar (wind) electricity (LCOS). The paper presents a LC algorithm. The algorithm equations are presented. A glossary is presented. For rapid computation, an Excel LC Algorithm Workbook is presented. The financial algorithm uses nine recognized energy storage plant (ESP) specifications (specs) to compute the levelized cost of the stored solar (wind) electricity. Published (assembled) spec values for the proposed Highview/Encore Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) Plant (Vermont), for the upcoming Tesla Li-ion Battery Moss Landing ESP (Moss Landing, California) and the actual (since 1967) Cabin Creek Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Plant (Clear Creek County, Colorado) are used as case studies to demonstrate the algorithm. The emphasis in this paper is on ESP cost; not on ESP revenue, but the revenue is discussed when the paper tries to reconcile the LCOS method with ESP GAAP project accounting. When the revenue (US$/MWh) equals the LCOS, the ESP is earning its weighted average cost of capital (WACC). The goal of this paper is to present a standard computational algorithm (an app in an Excel Workbook) for bankers (investors, financial analysts) to use. Readers can do a LC computation based on the paper’s LCOS algorithm and on their own nine assembled ESP specs. The paper’s LCOS algorithm gives the reader who has these nine ESP spec values, a quick “back of the envelope” verification of a developer’s (manufacturer’s; promotor’s) value for their ESP LCOS. A complication arises in using this paper’s LC algorithm. The complication is that published ESP spec values are limited and that an ESP developer’s spec values must be confirmed by the reader before they use this paper’s Excel LC Algorithm Workbook to compute the ESP LCOS. The paper has three case studies that discuss how to assemble the nine ESP specs when good specs are not publicly available.

In finance, having good numbers is always a challenge.

Below download the Pre-Convention Draft Version of Michael’s Solar and Energy Storage Northeast 2020 Paper.

Below download his paper’s revised 05/13/20 Version SEIA Solar NE Excel LCOS Algorithm Workbook. The worksheet on reconciling the LCOS and GAAP accounting has been updated (but is still a work in progress) and some pesky typos have been removed from all the worksheets. See if you can find any typos!

Below download Michael’s Solar and Energy Storage Northeast 2020 Poster. It will look great on your grandchildren’s bedroom wall or on your office wall.

Below download the Post Convention Version of his Poster Handout.

Michael wants to thank you for stopping by his poster and discussing his paper with him.

Michael explaining his paper to you
Clean Power 2020 is now Virtual

Michael’s paper, Is Wind “Power to Gas” Ready for Prime Time on the North American Grid? was selected for presentation at CLEANPOWER 2020. CLEANPOWER 2020 is now VIRTUAL.

was June 1, 2020 | The ePoster Gallery is still open and you can still see Michael’s ePoster, but you have to supply your own wine and cheese.

Your ePoster Rating of Michael’s ePoster and your comments are still welcome!


ABSTRACT–The reader will learn if wind power to gas (WP2G) is ready for prime time on the North American (NA) electric and natural gas (NG) grids. The paper discusses the two phases of a model wind power to gas plant (WP2GP). First, wind power (electricity) from the grid is converted into hydrogen (H2) gas using a H2 electrolyzer (HE). Second, a Sabatier reactor (SR) is used to convert the H2 into synthetic NG [methane (CH4)]. The synthetic NG is then injected into the grid. The paper discusses both the HE and SR technologies.
The author developed a levelized cost of gas (LCOG) financial algorithm for a model WP2GP. The LC financial principles are discussed. The LCOG Algorithm uses “project accounting” to compute a separate LCOG for both WP2GP operating phases. This LCOG algorithm is used for sensitivity analysis and to confirm published WP2GP specifications (specs).

To compute the LCOG, the financial algorithm requires 18 (subject to revision) WP2GP specs [metrics]. The algorithm 18 (subject to revision) WP2GP specs (independent variables) and 30 (subject to revision) dependent variables are defined using U.S. “English” units. The H2 industry practice is to measure H2 production in Kg-H2 (Nm^3-H2) and to price H2 in US$/Kg-H2 (US$/Nm^3-H2). The North American NG industry practice is to measure NG production in ft^3 and to price NG in US$/mmBtu. For this presentation, both H2 and NG production (mmBtu-H2; mmBtu-NG) and price (US$/mmBtu-H2; US$/mmBtu-NG) are measured in mmBtu.

The author did sensitivity analysis. He found that low round trip WP2GP efficiency (η) and high WP2GP CapEx do not allow a WP2GP to operate commercially in North America. The cost of capital was not a factor. The computed HE H2 LCOG is greater than the current price of NG at the Henry Hub (NYMEX). Using this H2 as feed stock for the SR phase would produce an even higher LCOG for synthetic NG.

Below you can NOW download Michael’s Clean Power 2020 Paper, Version 06/28/20

Below you can NOW download the 06/28/20 Version of the HE Worksheet from his Clean Power 2020 paper’s Excel P2GP LCOG Financial Algorithm Workbook.

Below download the paper’s ePoster. You grandchildren want to put it on their bedroom wall. You can put it on your office wall.

Michael’s paper, Making Hydrogen Energy Storage Ready for Prime Time on the North American Grid. A Guide for Bankers and Investors, was selected for presentation at SOLAR 20/20, 23-26 June, Washington, DC.

SOLAR 20/20 is now Virtual. The virtual Solar 2020 was 24-25 June. Michael presented his Solar 20/20 PAPER, and Excel LCOS Algorithm WORKBOOK on 24 June during the Clean Energy Financing Track. Check out where he was on the program at https://www.ases.org/events/finance-track-session/

If you attended the ASES SOLAR 2020 Virtual Conference, you got your copy of Michael’s paper and his paper’s Excel LCOS Algorithm WORKBOOK on 24 June. Since 07/01/20, Michael’s SOLAR 20/20 paper and its Excel workbook have been available to download below!

ABSTRACT–A bulk electric energy storage plant can be used on the North American electric grid for the daily, weekly or seasonal storage of solar energy. This presentation will help bankers and investors determine whether hydrogen (H2) energy storage can operate commercially. To determine this, the author has developed a H2 storage plant (HSP) levelized cost of storage (LCOS) financial algorithm. To compute the LCOS, the HSP algorithm requires 22 HSP specifications (specs). These 22 HSP specs are defined using a set of standard Système International d’Unités H2 energy units. The presentation discusses H2 storage technology, focusing on the three phases of all HSP; one, the production (charging) of the H2 using solar electricity, two, the storage (storing) of the solar electricity as H2, and three, the use of the stored H2 as the fuel to regenerate (discharging) the solar electricity. The HSP LCOS algorithm uses “project accounting” to compute a separate LCOS for each HSP phase. The HSP algorithm is used by the author for sensitivity analysis and to confirm published HSP specs. Currently, Low round trip HSP efficiency (η) and high HSP CapEx do not allow a HSP to operate commercially. The cost of capital was not a factor.

Below download Michael’s ASES SOLAR 2020 Virtual Conference Paper. Since 07/01/20, it has been available here for those that did not attend the Solar 20/20 Virtual Conference.

Below download Michael paper’s Excel LCOS Algorithm Workbook. Since 07/01/20, it has been available here for those who did not attend the Solar 20/20 Virtual Conference.

Michael’s NEW Web of Science ResearcherID is AAG-6642-2019. Use this ID and the search function to find his researcher Web of Science Profile at Publons. Go to https://publons.com/about/home/

Michael in front of his poster at Solar Power International 2019.
You can find this paper on Michael’s 2019 Paper Menus
A View of the Illinois Prairie in the Cook County Illinois (USA) Forest Preserve
Michael on the Silver Dollar Lake Trail in Clear Creek County, CO
Chicago’s Palmolive Building with Light Beacon: January, 2020

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