U.S. combined-cycle power plants' capital expenditures 2017-2050

The capital expenditure of a natural gas combined-cycle power plant stood at 927 U.S. dollars per kilowatt in 2017, but it is estimated to decrease to 800 U.S. dollars per kilowatt by 2050. Capital expenditure (CAPEX) of the power plant refers to the amount that needs to be spent to achieve commercial operation within that year. Fuel costs for these plants are estimated to reach 6.71 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour in 2040.

Natural gas plants

In a conventional gas-fired combustion turbine, air is compressed and fed into a combustion chamber at extremely high speeds. Within the combustion system, the air is mixed with fuel and is then combusted resulting in a high-temperature and high-pressure gas stream that enters and expands through the turbine, rotating the blades to spin a generator to produce electricity. In comparison, a combined-cycle natural gas turbine uses a heat recovery steam generator that converts that hot exhaust from the turbine to generate steam. This could generate additional electricity through a steam turbine. The cost of constructing a conventional combustion turbine is less than that of combined cycle plants or internal combustion engines.

Projected capital expenditure of a typical U.S. combined-cycle power plant in 2017, 2030 and 2050 (in U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour)*

CAPEX in U.S. dollars per kilowatt hour
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United States

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Supplementary notes

* All costs in 2017 U.S. dollars. Based on R&D only.
The 2017 figure is actual data.

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Statistics on "Natural gas energy in the U.S."

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