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Electricity

Construction cost data for electric generators installed in 2017

Release date:  July 30, 2019  |  Next release date: July 2020   

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

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Jump to group: All generators by: major energy source  |  prime mover  |  Census region  |  top four 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 2017 by major energy source





    

All plants by major energy source capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
natural gas 920
wind 1,647
solar 2,343
biomass 4,116
battery storage 1,587
petroleum liquids 856
Total capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 7,196 3,335
wind 5,828 0
solar 4,990 69
biomass 65 12
battery storage 119 4
petroleum liquids 8 50
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 19 14
wind 58 0
solar 459 7
biomass 6 3
battery storage 18 3
petroleum liquids 2 11
All plants by major energy source total cost (billion $)
natural gas 9.7
wind 9.6
solar 11.9
biomass 0.3
battery storage 0.2
petroleum liquids 0.05
Number of generators by major energy source at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 51 39
wind 64 0
solar 541 7
biomass 19 6
battery storage 19 3
petroleum liquids 4 26
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
natural gas 379 238
wind 100 0
solar 11 10
biomass 11 4
battery storage 7 1
petroleum liquids 4 5
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Generators installed in 2017 by prime mover







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Capacity-weighted average cost per kilowatt of installed namepate capacity ($/kW) capacity weighted-average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 1,084
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 955
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 818
internal combustion engine 1,574
onshore wind turbine 1,647
photovoltaic 2,343
energy storage, battery 1,587
Total included capacity(MW) at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 258 844
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 4,024 1,183
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 2,743 1,192
internal combustion engine 244 177
onshore wind turbine 5,828 0
photovoltaic 4,990 69
energy storage, battery 119 4
number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 9 16
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 16 6
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 8 4
internal combustion engine 41 45
onshore wind turbine 64 0
photovoltaic 541 7
energy storage, battery 19 3
Average generator capacity at new or existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 29 53
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 252 197
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 343 298
internal combustion engine 6 4
onshore wind turbine 91 0
photovoltaic 9 10
energy storage, battery 6 1
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 1.2
combustion turbine (as part of combined cycle) 5.0
steam turbine (as part of combined cycle) 3.2
internal combustion engine 0.7
onshore wind turbine 9.6
photovoltaic 11.9
energy storage, battery 0.2

Generators installed in 2017 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 1,203
Midwest 1,418
West 2,546
Northeast 2,700
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 9,369 2,844
Midwest 5,981 356
West 2,460 244
Northeast 396 25
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 189 10
Midwest 127 7
West 137 16
Northeast 109 5
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 204 21
Midwest 221 23
West 146 29
Northeast 127 8
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 50 284
Midwest 47 51
West 18 15
Northeast 4 5
Census region total cost (billion $)
South 14.7
Midwest 9.0
West 6.9
Northeast 1.1

Generators installed in 2017 by top four states in capacity additions





     

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State capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Texas 1,132
Ohio 962
Oklahoma 951
California 3,306
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Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Texas 5,600 0
Ohio 1,990 0
Oklahoma 272 1,062
California 1,117 70
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Texas 36 0
Ohio 7 0
Oklahoma 7 2
California 61 7
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Texas 42 0
Ohio 15 0
Oklahoma 7 9
California 67 18
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Texas 156 0
Ohio 284 0
Oklahoma 39 531
California 18 10
State total cost (billion $)
Texas 6.3
Ohio 1.9
Oklahoma 1.3
California 3.9

Natural gas generators installed in 2017 by technology





     

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Natural gas plants by type capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combined cycle 896
combustion turbine 948
internal combustion engine 1,496
Total included capacity (MW) at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 6,767 2,375
combustion turbine 225 839
internal combustion engine 204 120
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 8 4
combustion turbine 4 7
internal combustion engine 7 3
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 24 10
combustion turbine 6 15
internal combustion engine 21 14
Average new plants capacity or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combined cycle 846 594
combustion turbine 56 120
internal combustion engine 29 40
Total construction cost total cost (billion $)
combined cycle 8.2
combustion turbine 1.0
internal combustion engine 0.5

Natural gas generators installed in 2017 at combined-cycle plants by prime mover





Natural gas combined cycle plants by component capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
combustion turbine 955
steam turbine 818
Total capacity at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 4,024 1,183
steam turbine 2,743 1,192
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 16 6
steam turbine 8 4
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
combustion turbine 252 197
steam turbine 343 298
Natural gas generators at combined-cycle plants by prime mover total cost (billion $)
combustion turbine 5.0
steam turbine 3.2

     

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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 2017 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
South 2,024
West 2,707
Midwest 2,291
Northeast 3,136
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
South 2,592 19
West 1,691 49
Midwest 425 1
Northeast 282 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
South 164 1
West 112 5
Midwest 87 1
Northeast 96 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
South 164 1
West 115 5
Midwest 155 1
Northeast 107 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
South 16 19
West 15 10
Midwest 5 1
Northeast 3 0
Region total cost (billion $)
South 5.3
West 4.7
Midwest 1.0
Northeast 0.9

Solar PV generators installed in 2017 by top 5 states in capacity additions





     

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Census regions capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
North Carolina 2,087
California 3,300
Texas 2,096
Nevada 2,299
Virginia 1,971
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
North Carolina 919 0
California 846 34
Texas 648 0
Nevada 279 11
Virginia 285 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
North Carolina 73 0
California 51 3
Texas 18 0
Nevada 4 1
Virginia 15 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
North Carolina 73 0
California 54 3
Texas 18 0
Nevada 4 1
Virginia 15 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
North Carolina 13 0
California 17 11
Texas 36 0
Nevada 70 11
Virginia 19 0
Region total cost (billion $)
North Carolina 2.0
California 2.9
Texas 1.4
Nevada 0.7
Virginia 0.6

Solar PV generators installed in 2017 by PV panel type and tracking system





     

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Solar PV plants by tracking system capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 2,425
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 2,135
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 2,223
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 3,399
other 2,046
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 1,387 0
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 2,628 44
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 306 5
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 487 19
other 183 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 251 1
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 151 3
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 27 2
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 10 1
other 20 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 295 1
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 155 3
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 61 2
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 10 1
other 20 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 6 0
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 17 15
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 11 3
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 49 19
other 9 0
Solar PV plants by tracking system total cost (billion $)
crystalline silicon, fixed tilt 3.4
crystalline silicon, axis-based tracking 5.7
thin-film CdTe, fixed tilt 0.7
thin-film CdTe, axis-based tracking 1.7
other 0.4

Solar PV generators installed in 2017 by total added capacity at plant





     

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Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
1–5 MW 2,563
5–10 MW 2,074
10–150 MW 2,317
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 912 6
5–10 MW 391 0
10–150 MW 3,687 63
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 311 3
5–10 MW 48 0
10–150 MW 100 4
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 388 3
5–10 MW 51 0
10–150 MW 102 4
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
1–5 MW 3 2
5–10 MW 8 0
10–150 MW 37 16
Plant size total cost (billion $)
1–5 MW 2.4
5–10 MW 0.8
10–150 MW 8.7

Wind generators installed in 2017 by Census region





     

↓ notes ↑ top
Census region capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Midwest and Northeast 1,654
South 1,486
West 2,254
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Midwest and Northeast 2,673 0
South 2,512 0
West 642 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Midwest and Northeast 32 0
South 14 0
West 12 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Midwest and Northeast 38 0
South 14 0
West 12 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Midwest and Northeast 84 0
South 179 0
West 54 0
Census region total cost (billion $)
Midwest and Northeast 4.4
South 3.7
West 1.4

Wind generators installed in 2017 by plant size





     

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Plant size capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
1–25 MW 2,314
25–100 MW 1,685
100–200 MW 1,722
200–500 MW 1,526
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 118 0
25–100 MW 949 0
100–200 MW 2,359 0
200–500 MW 2,402 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 22 0
25–100 MW 12 0
100–200 MW 15 0
200–500 MW 9 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 26 0
25–100 MW 12 0
100–200 MW 17 0
200–500 MW 9 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
1–25 MW 5 0
25–100 MW 79 0
100–200 MW 157 0
200–500 MW 267 0
Plant size total cost (billion $)
1–25 MW 0.3
25–100 MW 1.6
100–200 MW 4.1
200–500 MW 3.7

Wind generators installed in 2017 by wind class





     

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Class capacity-weighted average cost ($/kW)
Class 1 and 2 1,669
Class 3 and 4 1,609
Total included capacity at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 3,735 0
Class 3 and 4 2,093 0
Number of plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 35 0
Class 3 and 4 23 0
Number of generators at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 37 0
Class 3 and 4 27 0
Average new plant or additional capacity at existing plants at new plants at existing plants
Class 1 and 2 107 0
Class 3 and 4 91 0
Plant size total cost (billion $)
Class 1 and 2 6.2
Class 3 and 4 3.4

     

    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.
    • Biomass includes both liquid and gaseous biomass fuels.
    • 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, 2017 Annual Electric Generator Report

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