Levelized Cost of Energy – sample calculation results

October 16th, 2009 7 Comments   Posted in levelized cost of energy

Levelized Cost of Energy – sample calculation results

Please refer to the first article for the calculation formulas (US NREL and RP MTO) and the second article for the sample input data used in the calculation of levelized cost of energy and electricity (rated capacity, overnight cost, fixed and variable O&M cost, fuel cost, efficiency, capacity factor, station use, taxes, economic life, etc.).

Levelized Cost by Technology Group (using RP MTO Formula)

The levelized cost for each technology of given rated capacity is given for the RP MTO formula (with taxes and depreciation).

Please revisit this link for the US NREL and RP MTO formulas for levelized cost of energy:

http://energytechnologyexpert.com/cost-of-power-generation/how-to-calculate-the-levelized-cost-of-power-or-energy/ More »

Sample data for calculating the levelized cost of energy and electricity

SAMPLE DATA FOR CALCULATING THE LEVELIZED COST OF ENERGY AND ELECTRICITY

Your favorite energy technology expert presents sample data for calculating the levelized cost of energy and electricity which could be applied on the NREL formula or implemented in a detailed project finance model.

The input data are summarized below. More »

How to calculate the levelized cost of energy – some updates

How to Calculate the Levelized Cost of Energy and Electricity – some updates and developments


The author is re-issuing this article in view of the tremendous interest worldwide on this article.  A number of readers have in fact ordered my technology articles, specifically on the cost of power generation technology (a spreadsheet containing the technology, rated capacity, overnight cost $/kW, capacity factor % of rated capacity, fixed O&M $/kW/year, variable O&M $/kWh, energy conversion efficiency % of fuel energy, fuel cost $/GJ, economic life years, construction lead time years, reliability % of operating hours, availability % of calendar days, and levelized cost $/kWh).


Using the NREL formula and a detailed project finance model, I was able to demonstrate that the results would be the same in calculating the levelized cost of energy or electricity.  The reader is adviced to email me if they would like to get a copy of the spreadsheet showing the two calculations.

With the passage of the Philippine Renewable Energy Act of 2009 (RE Law) and its implementing rules and regulations (IRR), it is imperative that financial models for renewable energy projects be revised accordingly.  This author and our group of experts would assist project proponents and investors in the Philippines develop an updated financial model for evaluating their RE project proposals for endorsement by the Department of Energy (DOE) and for the approval of their feed-in tariffs with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC). More »

Sample Levelized Cost of Energy – the cheapest and most expensive technology

Sample Levelized Cost of Energy – the cheapest and most expensive technology

As the third article of the  series on “How to Calculate the Levelized Cost of Energy”, the author is now ready to present the summary of levelized cost per technology group.  Please refer to the first article for the calculation formulas (US NREL and RP MTO) and the second article for the sample input data used in the calculations (rated capacity, overnight cost, fixed and variable O&M cost, fuel cost, efficiency, capacity factor, station use, taxes, economic life, etc.).

Levelized Cost by Technology Group (using RP MTO Formula)

The levelized cost for each technology of given rated capacity is given for the RP MTO formula (with taxes and depreciation).

Conventional Thermal Plants

Oil Thermal (fuel oil) – 300 MW, 0.1397 $/kWh

Orimulsion Thermal (orimulsion) – 100 MW, $0.1030 $/kWh

Gas Thermal (natural gas) – 100 MW, 0.0808 $/kWh

Pulverized Coal Thermal (coal) – 600 MW, 0.0665 $/kWh

Compression Ignition Engines

Reciprocating Diesel Engine (diesel, fuel oil) – 50 MW, 0.1605 $/kWh

Reciprocating Orimulsion Engine (orimulsion) – 50 MW, 0.1143 $/kWh

Gas Turbines (oil, natural gas)

Simple GT – 35 MW, 0.0755 $/kWh

Recuperated GT – 3 MW, 0.0739 $/kWh

Cascaded Humid Air Turbine (CHAT) – 11 MW, 0.0804 $/kWh

Cascaded Humid Air Turbine (CHAT) – 300 MW, 0.0584 $/kWh

Heavy Frame GT – 200 MW, 0.0875 $/kWh

Combined Cycle GT – 500 MW, 0.0607 $/kWh

More »

How to Calculate the Levelized Cost of Energy – a simplified approach

How to Calculate the Levelized Cost of Energy – a simplified approach

Calculating the levelized cost of energy is a fundamental principle in the energy and power industry. It basically allows the comparison of various technologies of unequal life times and capacities without resorting to developing a full-blown project finance model.

This simplified approach is particularly appropriate when doing a rough estimate on the cost of electricity given the various technologies in a country. By applying the formula on each power plant, as if it is continuously replaced to provide incremental power to meet new incremental demand, it provides a good estimate on the cost of electricity had a new plant been constructed to replace the old plant that became obsolete.

The weighted average levelized cost for the country is then estimated by using the electricity generation of each technology as weighing factor. For instance, the effect of injecting a nuclear power plant into the generation mix will be estimated quickly so that the country’s average levelized cost of energy could be compared with its neighboring competitor countries having nuclear power. Applying the same set of formulas and cost factors for each technology will yield a good index on our country’s competitiveness with respect to power costs.

Various Power Generation Technologies

I am sharing with you my own list and classification of the various power generation technologies, both existing and future technologies, that taken as a whole, would supply the ever growing needs of the peoples of our mother earth.

Levelized Cost of Each Power Generation Technology

The only way power generation technologies could be compared with respect to cost is to calculate the levelized cost of energy over its economic life. This involves obtaining data on rated capacity kW, overnigh costs $/kW, fixed Operating & Maintenance cost $/kW/year, variable O&M cost $/kWh, efficiency % or plant heat rate kJ/kWh, economic life years, availability %, load factor % or capacity factor %, fuel cost $/GJ or $/kg or $/L, fuel Gross Heating Value kJ/kg or kJ/L, fuel density kg/L, and construction lead time years.

The levelized cost allows comparison of different power generation technologies of unequal economic life, capital cost, risk and returns, capacity factor, efficiencies or plant heat rate, fuel costs and construction lead times.

The basic formula used is based on the US NREL formula for the levelized cost of energy (net):

Net COE = ICC * CRF / AEPnet + (LLC + O&M + LRC + MOE) – PTC, in US $/kWh

where ICC = Initial Capital Cost (total debt), $

CRF = capital recovery factor, 1/yr = int / (1 – (1 + int)^-Life)

AEPnet = Net Annual Energy Production, kWh/yr (net of plant own use)

= (kW capacity) * (capacity factor) * (hours/year)

LLC = Land Lease Cost, $/kWh

O&M = Levelized Operating & Maintenance Expense, $/kWh

LRC = Levelized Replacement/Overhaul Cost, $/kWh

MOE = Miscellaneous Operating Expense, $/kWh

PTC = US Production Tax Credit, $/kWh

In the case of the Philippines where the effect of income tax and depreciation needs to be considered, the RP MTO formula developed by Engr. Marcial T. Ocampo is shown:

More »