lower rate of deployment than used in the SunLab model. The two sets of estimates, by SunLab and Sargent & Lundy, provide a band within which the costs can be expected to fall. Figure ES-1 highlights these results, with initial electricity costs in the range of 10 to 12.6 ¢/kWh and eventually achieving costs in the range of 3.5 to 6.2¢/kWh. The specific values will depend on total capacity of various technologies deployed and the extent of R&D program success.

Figure ES-1 -Levelized Energy Cost Summary

Sargent & Lundy allocated cost reduction into the following categories: volume production (learning and improvements in manufacturing), plant scale-up (increasing size), and technology advances (RD&D). The table below highlights highlights our assessment of where trough and tower cost reduction occurs for the long-term (2020) case assuming the SunLab technology and deployment scenarios.

Cost Reduction Category



Volume Production



Plant Scale-up



Technology Advances



However it should be noted that the study does not provide for a direct comparison between tower and trough technology. The two technologies are not at the same stage of commercial development and no effort was made to compare these technologies on a fully consistent basis.

ES-3 Trough Technical Summary

The cost, performance, and risk of parabolic trough technology are fairly well established by the experience of the existing operating parabolic trough plants. Based on the data available to Sargent & Lundy, the analysis bounds the future potential cost of parabolic trough electricity.

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