Electricity

Construction cost data for electric generators installed in 2015

Release date:  May 19, 2017  |  Next release date: January 2018   

Presented below are graphs and tables of the cost data for generators installed in 2015 based on data collected by the 2015 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 2016 in January 2018. 2015 Tables                  

Previous years:
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Jump to group:
All generators by: major energy source  |  prime mover  |  Census region  |  top 5 states in capacity additions
By selected sources and type: natural gas by technology  |  natural gas combined-cycle by prime mover
solar PV by Census region  | solar PV by PV panel type and tracking system  |  wind generators by Census region  |  wind generators by plant size



Generators installed in 2015 by major energy source




    

All plants by major energy source capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Wind 1,661
Natural gas 696
Solar PV 2,921
Hydro 580
Battery storage 864
Petroleum liquids 1,021
Biomass 1,531
Total capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
Wind 7,871 193
Natural gas 3,844 2,626
Solar PV 2,896 297
Hydro 8 125
Battery storage 89 38
Petroleum liquids 2 43
Biomass 12 11
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Wind 53 3
Natural gas 19 15
Solar PV 299 8
Hydro 2 2
Battery storage 6 3
Petroleum liquids 1 16
Biomass 4 6
All plants by major energy source total cost (billion $)
Wind 13.4
Natural gas 4.5
Solar PV 9.3
Hydro .077
Battery storage .11
Petroleum liquids .046
Biomass .036
Number of generators by major energy source at new plants at existing plants
Wind 63 3
Natural gas 50 23
Solar PV 374 12
Hydro 5 2
Battery storage 6 4
Petroleum liquids 1 26
Biomass 13 13
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Wind 149 64
Natural gas 202 175
Solar PV 10 37
Hydro 4 62
Battery storage 15 13
Petroleum liquids 2 3
Biomass 3 2
↓ notes ↑ top
Generators installed in 2015 by prime mover






↓ notes ↑ top
Capacity-weighted average cost per kilowatt of installed namepate capacity ($/kW) capacity weighted-average cost ($/kW)
Combustion turbine 779
Combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 635
Steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 583
Internal combustion engine 1,664
Hydroelectric turbine 580
Onshore wind turbine 1,661
Photovoltaic 2,921
Battery storage 864
Total included capacity(MW) at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 1,110 363
Combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1,526 1,355
Steam turbine(as part of combined cycle) 993 881
Internal combustion engine 228 81
Hydroelectric turbine 8 125
Onshore wind turbine 7,871 193
Photovoltaic 2,896 297
Battery storage 89 38
number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 15 8
Combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 7 6
Steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 5 3
Internal combustion engine 37 45
Hydroelectric turbine 5 2
Onshore wind turbine 63 3
Photovoltaic 374 12
Battery storage 6 4
Average generator capacity at new or existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 74 45
Combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 218 226
Steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 199 294
Internal combustion engine 6 2
Hydroelectric turbine 2 62
Onshore wind turbine 125 64
Photovoltaic 8 25
Battery storage 15 10
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
Combustion turbine 1.15
Combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1.83
Steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 1.1
Internal combustion engine .51
Hydroelectric turbine .077
Onshore wind turbine 13.4
Photovoltaic 9.3
Battery storage .11

Generators installed in 2015 by Census region




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,393
West 2,256
Midwest 1,350
Northeast 923
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 6,829 2,016
West 2,828 1,104
Midwest 3,170 174
Northeast 1,894 38
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 171 15
West 124 24
Midwest 47 9
Northeast 42 5
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 183 26
West 216 35
Midwest 63 16
Northeast 50 6
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 40 134
West 23 46
Midwest 67 19
Northeast 45 8
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 12.3
West 8.9
Midwest 4.5
Northeast 1.8
Generators installed in 2015 by top 5 states in capacity additions




     

↓ notes ↑ top
State capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
TX 1,299
NJ 695
CA 3,087
OK 1,611
CO 1,286
tr>
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
TX 4,048 1,051
NJ 1,642 0
CA 1,356 211
OK 1,344 2
CO 466 626
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
TX 25 5
NJ 9 0
CA 72 8
OK 8 1
CO 9 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
TX 27 7
NJ 13 0
CA 146 14
OK 8 1
CO 9 3
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
TX 162 210
NJ 182 0
CA 19 26
OK 168 2
CO 52 626
State total cost (billion $)
TX 6.6
NJ 1.1
CA 4.8
OK 2.2
CO 1.4
Natural gas generators installed in 2015 by technology




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Natural gas plants by type capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Combined cycle 614
Combustion turbine 779
Internal combustion engine 1,798
Total included capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
Combined cycle 2,519 2,236
Combustion turbine 1,110 363
Internal combustion engine 214 27
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Combined cycle 4 3
Combustion turbine 11 7
Internal combustion engine 4 5
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Combined cycle 12 9
Combustion turbine 15 8
Internal combustion engine 23 6
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Combined cycle 630 745
Combustion turbine 101 52
Internal combustion engine 53 5
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
Combined cycle 2.9
Combustion turbine 1.1
Internal combustion engine 0.4
Natural gas generators installed in 2015 at combined-cycle plants by prime mover




Natural gas combined cycle plants by component capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Combustion turbine 635
Steam turbine 583
Total capacity at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 1,526 1,355
Steam turbine 993 881
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 7 6
Steam turbine 5 3
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Combustion turbine 218 226
Steam turbine 199 294
Natural gas generators at combined-cycle plants by prime mover total cost (billion $)
Combustion turbine 1.8
Steam turbine 1.1

     

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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 2015 by Census region




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
West 3,121
South 2,539
Northeast 3,143
Midwest 3,278
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
West 1,613 293
South 1,114 2
Northeast 117 0
Midwest 52 1
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
West 107 6
South 133 1
Northeast 36 0
Midwest 23 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
West 182 10
South 133 1
Northeast 36 0
Midwest 23 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
West 15 49
South 8 2
Northeast 3 0
Midwest 2 1
Region total cost (billion $)
West 5.9
South 2.8
Northeast 0.4
Midwest .17

Solar PV generators installed in 2015 by PV panel type and tracking system




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Solar PV plants by tracking system capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 2,836
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 2,920
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 2,897
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 3,117
Other 2,690
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 905 46
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 1,197 190
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 202 60
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 528 0
Other 62 1
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 193 2
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 69 4
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 9 1
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 18 0
Other 10 1
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 260 3
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 70 6
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 10 2
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 24 0
Other 10 1
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 5 23
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 17 47
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 22 60
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 29 0
Other 6 1
Solar PV plants by tracking system total cost (billion $)
Crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 2.7
Crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 4.0
Thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 0.8
Thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 1.6
Other 0.17

Wind generators installed in 2015 by Census region




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census region capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,640
Midwest and Northeast 1,667
West 1,745
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 4,351 167
Midwest and Northeast 2,556 26
West 964 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 26 2
Midwest and Northeast 19 1
West 8 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 26 2
Midwest and Northeast 29 1
West 8 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 167 84
Midwest and Northeast 135 26
West 120 0
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 7.4
Midwest and Northeast 4.3
West 1.7

Wind generators installed in 2015 by plant size




     

↓ notes ↑ top
Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
1-25 MW 1,878
25-100 MW 1,962
100-200 MW 1,572
200-500 MW 1,652
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
1-25 MW 68 2
25-100 MW 1,075 26
100-200 MW 3,362 165
200-500 MW 3,367 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
1-25 MW 5 1
25-100 MW 14 1
100-200 MW 21 1
200-500 MW 13 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
1-25 MW 7 1
25-100 MW 14 1
100-200 MW 23 1
200-500 MW 19 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
1-25 MW 14 2
25-100 MW 77 26
100-200 MW 160 165
200-500 MW 259 0
Plant size total cost (billion $)
1-25 MW 0.1
25-100 MW 2.2
100-200 MW 5.5
200-500 MW 5.6

     

    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 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.
    • Totals may not equal sum of components due to independent rounding.
    Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860, Annual Electric Generator Report

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