Frequently Asked Questions

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

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has historical data on the average annual operation, maintenance, and fuel costs for existing power plants by major fuel or energy source types in Table 8.4. Average power plant operating expenses for major U.S. investor-owned electric utilities1of the Electric Power Annual.

EIA has projections for electricity generation costs in the Annual Energy Outlook. The most recent available projections and estimates for different types of power plants are in Levelized cost and levelized avoided cost of new generation resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2016, which includes estimated costs in dollars per megawatthour (mWh) based on a 30-year cost recovery period for various types of power plants that start operation in 2018, 2022, and 2040.

1 A mill is equal to 1/1000 of a U.S. dollar, or 1/10 of one cent. Mills per kilowatthour (kWh) equals dollars per megawatthour (mWh). To convert mills per kWh to cents per kWh, divide mills per kWh by 10.

Learn more:
Assessing the Economic Value of New Utility-Scale Renewable Generation Projects
Electricity Market Module and Renewable Fuels Module in the Assumptions to the Annual Energy Outlook
Model Documentation: National Energy Modeling System (NEMS)

Last updated: August 8, 2016

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