Capital expenditures (CAPEX) are expenditures required to achieve commercial operation in a given year.
CAPEX can be determined for a plant in a specific geographic location as follows:
CAPEX = ConFinFactor*(OCC*CapRegMult+GCC).
(See the Financial Definitions tab in the ATB data spreadsheet.)
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 represents a typical land-based wind plant and varies with annual average wind speed. Regional cost effects associated with labor rates, material costs, and other regional effects as defined by EIA (2016a), DOE (2015) expand the range of CAPEX. Unique land-based spur line costs for each of the 130,000 areas based on distance and transmission line costs expand the range of CAPEX even further. The figure below illustrates the ATB representative plants relative to the range of CAPEX including regional costs across the contiguous United States. Note that the ATB Base Year estimate for TRG 4 is equivalent to the market data observed capacity-weighted average wind plant CAPEX in the same year. The ATB representative plants are associated with a regional multiplier of 1.0.
ATB CAPEX, O&M, and capacity factor assumptions for Base Year and future projections through 2050 for High, Mid, and Low projections are used to develop the NREL Standard Scenarios using the ReEDS model. See ATB and ATB and Standard Scenarios.
CAPEX in the ATB does not represent regional variants (CapRegMult) associated with labor rates, material costs, etc., but the ReEDS model does include 134 regional multipliers (EIA 2016a).
The ReEDS model determines the land-based spur line (GCC) uniquely for each of the 130,000 areas based on distance and transmission line cost.
DOE (U.S. Department of Energy). 2015. Wind Vision: A New Era for Wind Power in the United States. U.S. Department of Energy. DOE/GO-102015-4557. March 2015. http://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2015/03/f20/wv_full_report.pdf.
EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration). 2016a. Capital Cost Estimates for Utility Scale Electricity Generating Plants. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Energy. November 2016. https://www.eia.gov/analysis/studies/powerplants/capitalcost/pdf/capcost_assumption.pdf.
Moné, C., A. Smith, M. Hand, and B. Maples. 2015. 2013 Cost of Wind Energy Review. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory. http://www.nrel.gov/docs/fy15osti/63267.pdf.