March, 2014 – The EIA has released projected cost estimates for power supply projects starting now that would be expected to begin operation by 2018. These costs estimates serve as a guide for electric utilities as they construct new generation facilities to serve growing load or replace less efficient plants.

EIA groups these cost estimates into two basic types: dispatchable and non-dispatchable. Dispatchable generation can be turned on when needed and non-dispatchable cannot.

EIA cost estimates do not include federal and state tax credits.

If you look at the charts below, it’s not hard to see why Natural Gas – Combined Cycle generation is about the only type of dispatchable generation being built these days.

As an example, NC electric cooperatives plan to own 100 MW of a recently announced Duke Energy 750 MW natural gas combined cycle generating plant.

For more information, see the news release.

Do you have a question or comment about the EIA generation cost estimates? Suggestions for future topics? Please submit them to MAC@wemc.


Dispatchable Technologies
Generation Type Capital Cost ($kW) Average Cost (cents/kWh)
Conventional Coal 3,300 10
Coal With Carbon Dioxide Capture 6,600 13.6
Natural Gas-Combined Cycle 1,000 6.7
Natural Gas-Combustion Turbine 1,000 13
Nuclear 5,000 10.8


Non-Dispatchable Technologies
Generation Type Capital Cost ($kW) Average Cost (cents/kWh)
Wind 3,300 10
Offshore wind 6,600 13.6
Solar PV 1,000 6.7
Solar Thermal 1,000 13



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