Capital expenditures (CAPEX) are expenditures required to achieve commercial operation in a given year.
For the ATB, and based on (EIA, 2016) and the System Cost Breakdown Structure described by (O'Connor, Zhang, DeNeale, Chalise, & Centurion, 2015), the hydropower plant envelope is defined to include:
CAPEX can be determined for a plant in a specific geographic location as follows:
Regional cost variations and geographically specific grid connection costs are not included in the ATB (CapRegMult = 1; GCC = 0). In the ATB, the input value is overnight capital cost (OCC) and details to calculate interest during construction (ConFinFactor).
In the ATB, CAPEX is shown for four representative non-powered dam plants and four representative new stream-reach development plants. CAPEX estimates for all identified hydropower potential (~700 NPD and ~8,000 NSD) results in a CAPEX range that is much broader than that shown in the ATB. It is unlikely that all the resource potential will be developed due to the very high costs for some sites. Regional cost effects and distance-based spur line costs are not estimated.
ATB CAPEX, O&M, and capacity factor assumptions for the Base Year and future projections through 2050 for Constant, Mid, and Low technology cost scenarios are used to develop the NREL Standard Scenarios using the ReEDS model. See ATB and Standard Scenarios.
CAPEX in the ATB does not represent regional variants (CapRegMult) associated with labor rates, material costs, etc., and neither does the ReEDS model.
CAPEX in the ATB does not include geographically determined spur line (GCC) from plant to transmission grid, and neither does the ReEDS model.
EIA. (2016b). Capital Cost Estimates for Utility Scale Electricity Generating Plants. Retrieved from U.S. Energy Information Administration website: https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/powerplants/capitalcost/pdf/capcost_assumption.pdf
O'Connor, P. W., Zhang, Q. F. (Katherine), DeNeale, S. T., Chalise, D. R., & Centurion, E. E. (2015). Hydropower Baseline Cost Modeling (No. ORNL/TM-2015/14). https://doi.org/10.2172/1185882