Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to generate electricity with different types of power plants?

EIA has historical data on the average annual operation, maintenance, and fuel costs for existing power plants by major fuel/energy source types in Table 8.4. Average Power Plant Operating Expenses for Major U.S. Investor-Owned Electric Utilities, 2001 through 2011 (Mills per Kilowatthour)1 of the Electric Power Annual.

EIA has projections for electricity generation costs in the Annual Energy Outlook 2013. The most recent available for different types of power plants are in Levelized Cost of New Generation Resources, which includes estimated costs in dollars per megawatthour (mWh)  based on a 30-year cost recovery period for various types of power plants that begin operation in 2018.

1 A mill is equal to 1/000 of a U.S. dollar, or 1/10 of one cent. Mills per kilowatthour (kWh) equals dollars per mWh. Divide mills per kWh by 10 to convert to cents per kWh.

Learn more:

Assessing the Economic Value of New Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Projects
Updated Capital Cost Estimates for Utility Scale Electricity Generating  Plants
Electricity Market Module Section and Renewable Fuels Module Section in the Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook 2013
Electricity Market Module and Renewable Fuels Module in the National Energy Modeling System: An Overview

Last updated: December 23, 2013


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