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Electricity

Construction cost data for electric generators installed in 2018

Release date:  August 10, 2020  |  Next release date: July 2021   

Presented below are graphs and tables of the cost data for generators installed in 2018 based on data collected by the 2019 Annual Electric Generator Report, Form EIA-860. The cost data for certain generation technologies were omitted to avoid disclosure of individual company data.

EIA expects to publish construction cost data for generators installed in 2018 in July 2020.

Read EIA's Electric Power Data Guide. 2018 Tables                  

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Jump to group: All generators by: major energy source  |  prime mover  |  Census region  |  top five states in capacity additions
By selected sources and type:
Natural gas : technology  |  combined-cycle by prime mover
Solar PV: Census region  | top five states in capacity additions  |  PV panel type and tracking system |  total capacity added at plant
Wind: Census region  |  plant size  |  wind class



Generators installed in 2018 by major energy source





    

All plants by major energy source capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
natural gas 837
wind 1,382
solar 1,848
battery storage 1,239
petroleum liquids 687
Total capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 12,823 6,097
wind 6,475 400
solar 4,673 212
battery storage 166 34
petroleum liquids 25 17
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 24 11
wind 51 6
solar 399 5
battery storage 20 4
petroleum liquids 3 7
All plants by major energy source total cost (billion $)
natural gas 15.8
wind 9.5
solar 9.0
battery storage .2
petroleum liquids .0
Number of generators by major energy source at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 83 26
wind 56 6
solar 475 6
battery storage 20 4
petroleum liquids 13 9
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 534 554
wind 127 67
solar 12 42
battery storage 8 8
petroleum liquids 8 2
↓ notes ↑ top

Generators installed in 2018 by prime mover







↓ notes ↑ top
Capacity-weighted average cost per kilowatt of installed namepate capacity ($/kW) capacity weighted-average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 604
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 877
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 830
internal combustion engine 1,156
onshore wind turbine 1,382
photovoltaic 1,848
energy storage, battery 1,239
Total included capacity(MW) at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 1,234 844
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 6,906 3,199
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 4,335 2,042
internal combustion engine 373 29
onshore wind turbine 6,475 400
photovoltaic 4,673 212
energy storage, battery 166 34
number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 16 7
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 24 11
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 13 6
internal combustion engine 43 11
onshore wind turbine 56 6
photovoltaic 475 6
energy storage, battery 20 4
Average generator capacity at new or existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 77 121
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 288 291
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 333 340
internal combustion engine 9 3
onshore wind turbine 116 67
photovoltaic 10 35
energy storage, battery 8 8
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 1.3
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 8.9
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 5.3
internal combustion engine 0.5
onshore wind turbine 9.5
photovoltaic 9.0
energy storage, battery 0.2

Generators installed in 2018 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 958
Midwest 1,222
Northeast 1,124
West 1,687
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 10,609 4,700
Midwest 5,273 991
Northeast 5,274 856
West 3,007 213
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 148 11
Midwest 134 8
Northeast 118 7
West 97 7
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 175 21
Midwest 227 12
Northeast 138 11
West 107 7
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 72 427
Midwest 39 124
Northeast 45 122
West 31 30
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 14.7
Midwest 7.7
Northeast 6.9
West 5.4

Generators installed in 2018 by top five states in capacity additions





     

↓ notes ↑ top
State capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Texas 1,001
Florida 868
Pennsylvania 774
Virginia 668
Maryland 921
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Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Texas 3,082 323
Florida 898 1,985
Pennsylvania 2,333 2
Virginia 1,811 374
Maryland 2,122 1
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Texas 28 4
Florida 15 3
Pennsylvania 4 1
Virginia 4 1
Maryland 12 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Texas 45 4
Florida 16 8
Pennsylvania 9 1
Virginia 7 2
Maryland 16 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Texas 110 81
Florida 60 662
Pennsylvania 583 2
Virginia 453 374
Maryland 177 1
State total cost (billion $)
Texas 3.4
Florida 2.5
Pennsylvania 1.8
Virginia 1.5
Maryland 2.0

Natural gas generators installed in 2018 by technology





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Natural gas plants by type capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combined cycle 858
combustion turbine 604
internal combustion engine 1,211
Total included capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 11,241 5,242
combustion turbine 1,234 844
internal combustion engine 348 11
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 12 5
combustion turbine 6 4
internal combustion engine 6 2
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 37 17
combustion turbine 16 7
internal combustion engine 30 2
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 937 1,048
combustion turbine 206 211
internal combustion engine 58 6
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combined cycle 14.1
combustion turbine 1.3
internal combustion engine 0.4

Natural gas generators installed in 2018 at combined-cycle plants by prime mover





Natural gas combined cycle plants by component capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 877
steam turbine 830
Total capacity at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 6,906 3,199
steam turbine 4,335 2,042
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 24 11
steam turbine 13 6
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 288 291
steam turbine 333 340
Natural gas generators at combined-cycle plants by prime mover total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 9.0
steam turbine 5.3

     

↓ notes ↑ top
Solar PV plants by tracking system capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
solid biomass 3,573
gaseous biomass 3,217
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
solid biomass 501 122
gaseous biomass 129 47
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
solid biomass 13 2
gaseous biomass 34 14
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
solid biomass 13 2
gaseous biomass 66 24
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
solid biomass 39 61
gaseous biomass 4 3
Solar PV plants by tracking system total cost (billion $)
solid biomass 2.2
gaseous biomass 0.6

Solar PV generators installed in 2018 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,483
West 2,177
Northeast 3,009
Midwest 2,288
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 2,772 0
West 1,279 207
Northeast 336 2
Midwest 287 3
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 122 0
West 77 2
Northeast 104 1
Midwest 96 2
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 123 0
West 78 2
Northeast 109 1
Midwest 165 3
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 23 0
West 17 103
Northeast 3 2
Midwest 3 2
Region total cost (billion $)
South 4.1
West 3.2
Northeast 1.0
Midwest 0.7

Solar PV generators installed in 2018 by top 5 states in capacity additions





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
California 2,214
Florida 1,146
Texas 1,322
North Carolina 1,969
Minnesota 2,462
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
California 844 205
Florida 879 0
Texas 709 0
North Carolina 635 0
Minnesota 212 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
California 36 1
Florida 14 0
Texas 14 0
North Carolina 49 0
Minnesota 77 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
California 36 1
Florida 14 0
Texas 14 0
North Carolina 49 0
Minnesota 145 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
California 23 205
Florida 63 0
Texas 51 0
North Carolina 13 0
Minnesota 3 0
Region total cost (billion $)
California 2.3
Florida 1.0
Texas 0.9
North Carolina 1.2
Minnesota 0.5

Solar PV generators installed in 2018 by PV panel type and tracking system





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Solar PV plants by tracking system capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
crystalline silicon,
fixed tilt
1,767
crystalline silicon,
axis-based tracking
1,834
thin-film CdTe,
fixed tilt
2,095
thin-film CdTe,
axis-based tracking
1,884
other 2,332
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 1,700 2
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 1,818 209
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 39 0
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 862 1
other 255 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 236 1
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 109 3
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 15 0
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 17 1
other 22 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 284 1
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 115 4
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 32 0
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 22 1
other 22 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 7 2
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 17 70
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 3 0
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 51 1
other 12 0
Solar PV plants by tracking system total cost (billion $)
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 3.0
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 3.7
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 0.0
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 1.6
other 0.6

Solar PV generators installed in 2018 by total added capacity at plant





     

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Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
1–5 MW 2,560
5–10 MW 1,933
10–100 MW 1,700
100–250 MW 1,692
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 761 7
5–10 MW 317 0
10–100 MW 2,277 0
100–250 MW 1,318 205
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 304 4
5–10 MW 37 0
10–100 MW 50 0
100–250 MW 8 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 374 5
5–10 MW 43 0
10–100 MW 50 0
100–250 MW 8 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 3 2
5–10 MW 9 0
10–100 MW 46 0
100–250 MW 165 205
Plant size total cost (billion $)
1–5 MW 2.0
5–10 MW 0.6
10–100 MW 3.9
100–250 MW 2.6

Wind generators installed in 2018 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census region capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,183
Midwest and Northeast 1,573
West 1,453
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 2,759 303
Midwest and Northeast 2,763 92
West 953 5
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 14 2
Midwest and Northeast 28 2
West 9 2
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 14 2
Midwest and Northeast 33 2
West 9 2
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 197 152
Midwest and Northeast 99 46
West 106 2
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 3.6
Midwest and Northeast 4.5
West 1.4

Wind generators installed in 2018 by plant size





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
1–25 MW 1,790
25–100 MW 1,676
100–200 MW 1,435
200–600 MW 1,268
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 112 8
25–100 MW 679 92
100–200 MW 2,430 0
200–600 MW 3,254 300
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 13 3
25–100 MW 10 2
100–200 MW 16 0
200–600 MW 12 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 18 3
25–100 MW 10 2
100–200 MW 16 0
200–600 MW 12 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 9 3
25–100 MW 68 46
100–200 MW 152 0
200–600 MW 271 300
Plant size total cost (billion $)
1–25 MW 0.2
25–100 MW 1.3
100–200 MW 3.5
200–600 MW 4.5

Wind generators installed in 2018 by wind class





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Class capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Class 1 and 2 1,286
Class 3 and 4 1,618
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 4,519 356
Class 3 and 4 1,956 44
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 31 5
Class 3 and 4 20 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 35 5
Class 3 and 4 21 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 146 71
Class 3 and 4 98 44
Plant size total cost (billion $)
Class 1 and 2 6.3
Class 3 and 4 3.2

     

    Notes:
    • Data includes facilities with a total generator nameplate capacity of 1 megawatt (MW) or more. Solar data does not include distributed generation capacity.
    • Government grants, tax benefits, or other incentives are excluded from these costs.
    • Solar photovoltaic (PV) data are based on reported alternating current (AC) capacity and may differ from other cost and capacity estimates that use direct current (DC) ratings of PV panels.
    • Petroleum liquids includes distillate fuel oil, jet fuel, kerosene, residual fuel oil, and waste oil.
    • Some generation technologies were excluded from this analysis to avoid disclosure of individual company data.
    • Average construction cost is based on the nameplate capacity weighted average cost per kilowatt of installed nameplate capacity.
    • Total capacity is the sum of the nameplate capacity of generators included in each group.
    • Average new capacity is based on the nameplate capacity of new plants or new additions of nameplate capacity to existing plants. New plants did not previously have operable units and are typically recently constructed. Existing plants have at least one previously operable generator and are not newly constructed.
    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, 2018 Annual Electric Generator Report

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