Cost of hydro power plants

March 13, 2017

The present and future projected price and performance attributes of the latest electric generating capacity tend to be a crucial input into the improvement power forecasts and analyses. The construction and operating expenses, combined with the performance qualities of brand new producing flowers, perform an important role in determining the mixture of ability additions that will serve future demand for electrical energy. These variables in addition help to determine how brand-new ability competes against present capacity, together with reaction associated with electric generators on imposition of ecological settings on traditional toxins or any limitations on greenhouse fuel emissions.

In 2010, EIA commissioned an outside specialist to produce current price and gratification quotes for utility-scale electric creating plants for AEO 2011. These details allowed EIA examine the expenses of different power plant technologies on a standardized basis and was an integral feedback improvement towards the nationwide Energy Model System (NEMS). The AEO 2013 development, EIA commissioned exactly the same specialist team to upgrade the price and gratification estimates per associated with the technologies assessed when you look at the initial 2010 research. This paper summarizes the outcomes of this conclusions and discusses just how EIA makes use of the updated information to investigate the development of brand new capability in electrical power sector.

Developing updated estimates: crucial design considerations

The main focus regarding the 2013 upgrade was to gather present information on the "overnight" building costs, operating costs, and gratification faculties for many generating technologies. The estimates were developed through costing exercises, utilizing a common methodology across technologies. Contrasting price estimates created on a similar foundation using the same methodology is of certain relevance assure modeling consistency.

Each technology is represented by a general center of a particular dimensions and setup, in a place that doesn't have unusual constraints or infrastructure demands. Where possible, expenses estimates were according to information derived from actual or in the offing projects proven to the specialist. When this information was not offered, the project costs had been expected utilizing costing models that take into account the present work and materials rates essential to complete the construction of a generic facility in addition to consistent assumptions when it comes to contractual relationship amongst the project owner additionally the building specialist.

The specific over night costs for every type of center had been broken down to include:

  • Civil and structural costs: allowance for website planning, drainage, the installation of underground resources, structural-steel offer, and building of structures on the site
  • Technical equipment offer and set up: significant gear, including although not restricted to, boilers, flue gasoline desulfurization scrubbers, air conditioning towers, steam-turbine generators, condensers, photovoltaic modules, combustion turbines, along with other auxiliary equipment
  • Electric and instrumentation and control: electrical transformers, switchgear, engine control facilities, switchyards, distributed control systems, alongside electric commodities
  • Project indirect prices: engineering, distributable work and materials, art work overtime and bonuses, scaffolding prices, building administration start and commissioning, and costs for contingency
  • Owners costs: development costs, preliminary feasibility and manufacturing studies, ecological studies and permitting, legal fees, insurance costs, property taxes during construction, together with electric interconnection prices, including a tie-in to a nearby electric transmission system

Non-fuel businesses and upkeep (O&M) costs associated with each one of the power plant technologies were evaluated too. The O&M prices which do not differ substantially with a plant’s electrical energy generation tend to be categorized as fixed, while the expenses sustained to build electricity are classified as variable. The warmth prices had been also evaluated for the proper technologies.

It ought to be mentioned that all quotes supplied in this report tend to be wide in scope. A far more detailed price assessment would require a more detailed amount of engineering and design work, tailored to a specific web site.


2 The term “overnight” refers to the cost of the project as if no interest had been incurred during its building.

3 charges for contingency feature contractor expense costs, costs, revenue, and construction.

4 temperature Rate is a way of measuring generating station thermal effectiveness generally claimed as Btu per kilowatthour.

5 U.S. Energy Information management, Annual Energy Outlook 2013, Table 20, GDP chain-type price list.

6 the rise in cost for IGCC with CCS resulted in EIA revising its technology presumption for new coal plants with CCS in EIA's forecasts. EIA's nationwide Energy Modeling System (NEMS) includes one choice for coal with CCS, plus AEO2012 new coal flowers with CCS had been thought to truly have the attributes consistent with those of an IGCC unit with CCS. But as a result of difference between expenses between higher level pulverized coal (PC) with CCS and IGCC with CCS introduced in 2013 update, the assumed characteristics of a coal plant with CCS in NEMS had been assumed becoming in line with those of a sophisticated Computer plant with CCS when it comes to AEO2013.

7 U.S. Energy Ideas Management, AEO 2012 Electricity Market Module Assumptions Document, Table 8.3.

8 U.S. Energy Suggestions Management, AEO 2012 Electricity Marketplace Assumptions Document, Dining Table 8.4.

9 U.S. Energy Information management, AEO 2013 expense and Performance Characteristics of the latest Central Station Electricity Generating Technologies, Table 8.2.

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