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Content displaying: CAPEX

Battery Storage

Capital Expenditures (CAPEX)

Definition: The literature review provided by Cole and Frazier (2020) does not enumerate elements of the capital cost of lithium-ion batteries. However, the NREL storage cost report (Fu et al., 2018) does detail a breakdown of capital costs with the actual battery pack being the largest component, but significant other costs are included. This breakdown is different if the battery is part of a hybrid system with solar PV. These relative costs for utility-scale standalone battery and battery + PV are demonstrated in the figure below.

Base Year: The Base Year cost estimate is taken from Feldman et al. (Forthcoming). Comparisons to other reported costs for 2018 and 2019 are included in Cole and Frazier (2020).

Within the ATB Data spreadsheet, costs are separated into energy and power cost estimates, which allow capital costs to be constructed for durations other than four hours according to the following equation:

Total System Cost ($/kW) = Battery Pack Cost ($/kWh) × Storage Duration (hr) + BOS Cost ($/kW)

For more information on the power versus energy cost breakdown, see Cole and Frazier (2020).

Future Projections: Future projections are taken from Cole and Frazier (2020), which generally used the median of published cost estimates to develop a Mid Technology Cost Scenario and the minimum values to develop a Low Technology Cost Scenario. Analysts' judgment is used to select the long-term projections to 2050 from a sparse data set.


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

Cole, Wesley, & Frazier, Will A. (2020). Cost Projections for Utility-Scale Battery Storage: 2020 Update. (No. NREL/TP-6A20-75385). National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Feldman, David, Vignesh Ramasamy, Ran Fu, Ashwin Ramdas, Jal Desai, and Robert Margolis. (Forthcoming). U.S. Solar Photovoltaic System and Energy Storage Cost Benchmark: Q1 2020. Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Fu, Ran, Remo, Timothy W., & Margolis, Robert M. (2018). 2018 U.S. Utility-Scale Photovoltaics-Plus-Energy Storage System Costs Benchmark. (No. NREL/TP-6A20-71714). National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

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