Content displaying: O&M


Operation and Maintenance (O&M) Costs

Definition: Operation and maintenance (O&M) costs represent average annual fixed expenditures (and depend on rated capacity) required to operate and maintain a hydropower plant over its lifetime, including items noted in the table below.

Base Year: The core metric chart shows the Base Year estimate and future year projections for fixed O&M (FOM) costs for each technology innovation scenario. The estimate for a given year represents annual average FOM costs expected over the technical lifetime of a new plant that reaches commercial operation in that year.

A statistical analysis of long-term plant operation costs from Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Form-1 resulted in a relationship between annual, FOM costs, and plant capacity. Values are updated to 2018$.

Lesser of Annual O&M = (227,000 × P0.547) or (2.5% of CAPEX)

Future Years: Projections developed for the Hydropower Vision study (DOE, 2016) using technological learning assumptions and bottom-up analysis of process and/or technology improvements provide a range of future cost outcomes. Three different FOM projections are developed for scenario modeling as bounding levels:

  • Conservative Scenario: FOM costs unchanged from the Base Year to 2050; consistent with all ATB technologies
  • Moderate Scenario: FOM costs for both NPD and NSD plants unchanged from 2018 to 2050; consistent with the Reference case in Hydropower Vision
  • Advanced Scenario: FOM costs for both NPD and NSD plants reduced by 50% in 2035 and 54% in 2050, consistent with the Advanced Technology case in Hydropower Vision.

Use the following table to view the components of O&M.


The following references are specific to this page; for all references in this ATB, see References.

DOE (2016). Hydropower Vision: A New Chapter for America's Renewable Electricity Source. (No. DOE/GO-102016-4869). U.S. Department of Energy.

Developed with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.