Cost and Performance Assumptions for Modeling Electricity Generation Technologies

Jordan Macknick, Jordan Macknick (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


The goal of this project was to compare and contrast utility scale power plant characteristics used in data sets that support energy market models. Characteristics include both technology cost and technology performance projections to the year 2050. Cost parameters include installed capital costs and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs. Performance parameters include plant size, heat rate,capacity factor or availability factor, and plant lifetime. Conventional, renewable, and emerging electricity generating technologies were considered. Six data sets, each associated with a different model, were selected. Two of the data sets represent modeled results, not direct model inputs. These two data sets include cost and performance improvements that result from increased deployment aswell as resulting capacity factors estimated from particular model runs; other data sets represent model input data. For the technologies contained in each data set, the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) was also evaluated, according to published cost, performance, and fuel assumptions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages211
StatePublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Work performed by ICF International, Fairfax, Virginia

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-6A20-48595


  • capacity factors
  • cost and performance
  • data
  • EIA
  • electricity generation
  • energy information administration
  • learning by doing
  • levelized cost of energy (LCOE)
  • Markal
  • market allocation international energy agency
  • mini climate assessment model
  • minicam
  • model inputs
  • model results
  • National Energy Modeling System
  • NEMS
  • power plants
  • ReEDS
  • regional energy deployment system
  • utility scale


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