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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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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 utilities1 of the Electric Power Annual.

EIA has projections for electricity generation costs in the Annual Energy Outlook. The most recent projections and estimates for different types of power plants are in Levelized costs of new generation resources in the Annual Energy Outlook 2023, which includes estimated costs in dollars per megawatthour (MWh) for electricity generation by various types of power plants that start operation in 2024, 2027, and 2040.

1 A mill is equal to 1/1,000 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:
EIA’s long-term power plant forecasts trade off the cost and value of new capacity
Power plants’ costs and value to the grid are not easily reflected using simple metrics
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 reviewed: April 1, 2024.

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