U.S. Energy Information Administration logo

Electricity

Construction cost data for electric generators installed in 2016

Release date:  August 6, 2018  |  Next release date: July 2019   

Presented below are graphs and tables of the cost data for generators installed in 2016 based on data collected by the 2016 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 2017 in July 2019.

Read EIA's Electric Power Data Guide. 2016 Tables                  

Previous years:
Year Format
2015 HTML
2014 HTML
2013 HTML

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 Solar PV capacity additions  |  PV panel type and tracking system |  total added capacity at plant
Wind: Census region  |  total added capacity at plant  |  wind class



Generators installed in 2016 by major energy source





    

All plants by major energy source capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
wind 1,630
solar 2,434
natural gas 895
hydro 5,312
battery storage 1,763
biomass 2,198
petroleum liquids 1,672
Total capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
wind 8,561 193
solar 7,501 526
natural gas 3,221 4,722
hydro 256 124
battery storage 78 119
biomass 81 10
petroleum liquids 8 18
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
wind 68 4
solar 427 13
natural gas 14 26
hydro 7 2
battery storage 10 9
biomass 10 5
petroleum liquids 2 10
All plants by major energy source total cost (billion $)
wind 14.3
solar 19.5
natural gas 7.1
hydro 2.0
battery storage .3
biomass .2
petroleum liquids .04
Number of generators by major energy source at new plants at existing plants
wind 78 4
solar 472 25
natural gas 44 51
hydro 24 2
battery storage 11 9
biomass 33 16
petroleum liquids 11 15
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
wind 126 48
solar 18 40
natural gas 230 182
hydro 37 62
battery storage 8 13
biomass 8 2
petroleum liquids 4 2
↓ notes ↑ top

Generators installed in 2016 by prime mover







↓ notes ↑ top
Capacity-weighted average cost per kilowatt of installed namepate capacity ($/kW) capacity weighted-average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 717
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1,011
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1,021
internal combustion engine 1,379
hydroelectric turbine 5,312
onshore wind turbine 1,630
photovoltaic 2,434
energy storage, battery 1,763
Total included capacity(MW) at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 820 2,676
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1,250 1,176
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 797 748
internal combustion engine 443 151
hydroelectric turbine 256 124
onshore wind turbine 8,561 193
photovoltaic 7,501 526
energy storage, battery 78 119
number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 10 22
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 5 5
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 3 6
internal combustion engine 70 49
hydroelectric turbine 24 2
onshore wind turbine 78 4
photovoltaic 472 25
energy storage, battery 11 9
Average generator capacity at new or existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 82 122
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 250 235
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 266 125
internal combustion engine 6 3
hydroelectric turbine 11 62
onshore wind turbine 110 48
photovoltaic 16 21
energy storage, battery 7 13
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 2.5
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 2.5
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1.6
internal combustion engine .8
hydroelectric turbine 2.0
onshore wind turbine 14.3
photovoltaic 19.5
energy storage, battery .3

Generators installed in 2016 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,420
West 2,314
Midwest 1,422
Northeast 2,677
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 8,931 3,817
West 5,767 1,415
Midwest 4,273 410
Northeast 734 69
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 198 14
West 149 26
Midwest 89 18
Northeast 100 11
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 242 42
West 186 46
Midwest 124 22
Northeast 121 12
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 45 273
West 39 54
Midwest 48 23
Northeast 7 6
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 18.1
West 16.6
Midwest 6.7
Northeast 2.2

Generators installed in 2016 by top five states in capacity additions





     

↓ notes ↑ top
State capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
California 2,557
Texas 1,412
Florida 684
Oklahoma 1,598
Virginia 903
tr>
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
California 2,851 1,053
Texas 3,058 669
Florida 266 2,963
Oklahoma 1,634 65
Virginia 1,617 5
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
California 84 13
Texas 18 3
Florida 11 4
Oklahoma 9 1
Virginia 8 2
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
California 104 25
Texas 34 5
Florida 11 12
Oklahoma 11 1
Virginia 20 14
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
California 34 81
Texas 170 223
Florida 24 741
Oklahoma 182 65
Virginia 202 2
State total cost (billion $)
California 10.0
Texas 5.3
Florida 2.2
Oklahoma 2.7
Virginia 1.5

Natural gas generators installed in 2016 by technology





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Natural gas plants by type capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combined cycle 1,015
combustion turbine 717
internal combustion engine 1,207
Total included capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 2,046 1,923
combustion turbine 820 2,676
internal combustion engine 354 123
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 3 6
combustion turbine 7 14
internal combustion engine 4 7
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 8 11
combustion turbine 10 22
internal combustion engine 26 18
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 682 321
combustion turbine 117 191
internal combustion engine 88 18
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combined cycle 4.0
combustion turbine 2.5
internal combustion engine 0.6

Natural gas generators installed in 2016 at combined-cycle plants by prime mover





Natural gas combined cycle plants by component capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 1,011
steam turbine 1,021
Total capacity at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 1,250 1,176
steam turbine 797 748
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 5 5
steam turbine 3 6
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 250 235
steam turbine 266 125
Natural gas generators at combined-cycle plants by prime mover total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 2.5
steam turbine 1.6

     

↓ 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 2016 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
West 2,575
South 2,150
Midwest 1,653
Northeast 3,190
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
West 4,577 508
South 2,339 10
Midwest 318 5
Northeast 267 3
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
West 130 7
South 159 1
Midwest 55 3
Northeast 83 2
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
West 152 19
South 159 1
Midwest 77 3
Northeast 84 2
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
West 35 73
South 15 10
Midwest 6 2
Northeast 3 1
Region total cost (billion $)
West 13.1
South 5.0
Midwest 0.5
Northeast .9

Solar PV generators installed in 2016 by top five states in Solar PV capacity additions





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
California 2,790
North Carolina 2,124
Georgia 2,051
Utah 1,895
Nevada 3,306
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
California 2,460 340
North Carolina 800 0
Georgia 732 0
Utah 689 0
Nevada 461 159
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
California 76 5
North Carolina 107 0
Georgia 16 0
Utah 13 0
Nevada 6 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
California 82 13
North Carolina 107 0
Georgia 16 0
Utah 13 0
Nevada 7 5
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
California 32 68
North Carolina 7  
Georgia 46  
Utah 53  
Nevada 77 159
Region total cost (billion $)
California 7.8
North Carolina 1.7
Georgia 1.5
Utah 1.3
Nevada 2.0

Solar PV generators installed in 2016 by PV panel type and tracking system





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Solar PV plants by tracking system capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 2,351
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 2,243
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 3,630
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 3,012
other 1,989
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 1,293 21
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 4,826 12
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 385 190
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 602 303
other 395 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 231 8
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 144 2
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 19 1
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 17 2
other 16 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 250 9
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 152 2
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 34 5
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 17 9
other 19 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 6 3
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 34 6
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 20 190
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 35 151
other 25 0
Solar PV plants by tracking system total cost (billion $)
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 3.1
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 10.9
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 2.1
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 2.7
other 0.8

Solar PV generators installed in 2016 by total added capacity at plant





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
0.1-5 MW 2,694
5-10 MW 2,232
10-100 MW 2,147
100-250 MW 2,755
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
0.1-5 MW 474 13
5-10 MW 641 0
10-100 MW 3,612 20
100-250 MW 2,774 492
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
0.1-5 MW 193 8
5-10 MW 114 0
10-100 MW 99 2
100-250 MW 21 3
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
0.1-5 MW 206 9
5-10 MW 139 0
10-100 MW 101 2
100-250 MW 26 14
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
0.1-5 MW 2 2
5-10 MW 6 0
10-100 MW 36 10
100-250 MW 132 164
Plant size total cost (billion $)
0.1-5 MW 1.3
5-10 MW 1.4
10-100 MW 7.8
100-250 MW 9.0

Wind generators installed in 2016 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census region capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,611
Midwest and Northeast 1,646
West 1,705
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 4,406 65
Midwest and Northeast 3,866 128
West 290 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 22 1
Midwest and Northeast 39 3
West 7 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 22 1
Midwest and Northeast 49 3
West 7 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 200 65
Midwest and Northeast 99 43
West 41 0
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 7.2
Midwest and Northeast 6.6
West .5

Wind generators installed in 2016 by total added capacity at plant





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
0.1-25 MW 2,453
25-100 MW 1,930
100-200 MW 1,742
200-500 MW 1,522
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
0.1-25 MW 82 0
25-100 MW 674 193
100-200 MW 2,351 0
200-500 MW 5,454 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
0.1-25 MW 17 0
25-100 MW 12 4
100-200 MW 16 0
200-500 MW 23 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
0.1-25 MW 21 0
25-100 MW 12 4
100-200 MW 16 0
200-500 MW 29 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
0.1-25 MW 5 0
25-100 MW 56 48
100-200 MW 147 0
200-500 MW 237 0
Plant size total cost (billion $)
0.1-25 MW 0.2
25-100 MW 1.7
100-200 MW 4.1
200-500 MW 8.3

Wind generators installed in 2016 by wind class





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Class capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Class 1 and 2 1,661
Class 3 1,569
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 5,762 65
Class 3 2,799 128
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 38 1
Class 3 30 3
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 38 1
Class 3 40 3
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 152 65
Class 3 93 43
Plant size total cost (billion $)
Class 1 and 2 9.7
Class 3 4.6

     

    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 generating units that came online during 2016 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.
    • Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.
    • Total Added Capacity at Plant categorization does not include the capacity existing prior to 2016.
    • Wind class is defined as follows:

      Class Annual average wind speed Extreme 50-year gust Turbulence intensity
      Class 1 - High Wind 10 m/s (22.4 mph) 70 m/s (156 mph) A: 0.210
      B: 0.180
      Class 2 - Medium Wind 8.5 m/s (19.0 mph) 59.5 m/s (133 mph) A: 0.226
      B: 0.191
      Class 3 - Low Wind 7.5 m/s (16.8 mph) 52.5 m/s (117 mph) A: 0.240
      B: 0.200
      Class 4 - Very Low Wind 6 m/s (13.4 mph) 42 m/s (94 mph) A: 0.270
      B: 0.220

    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report

↑ top