Skip navigation to main content.
NREL - National Renewable Energy Laboratory
About NRELEnergy AnalysisScience and TechnologyTechnology TransferTechnology DeploymentEnergy Systems Integration
Bookmark and Share

Distributed Generation Energy Technology Operations and Maintenance Costs

Transparent Cost Database Button

The following charts indicate recent operations and maintenance (O&M) cost estimates for distributed generation (DG) renewable energy technologies.

The charts provide a compilation of available national-level cost data from a variety of sources. Costs in your specific location will vary.

The red horizontal lines represent the first standard deviation of the mean.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) sponsored the distributed generation data used within these charts.

If you are seeking utility-scale technology operations and maintenance estimates, please visit the Transparent Cost Database website for NREL's information regarding vehicles, biofuels, and electricity generation.

Capital Cost
(September 2013 Update)
Operations & Maintenance
(September 2013 Update)
Utility-Scale Capacity Factors Useful Life Land Use by System Technology LCOE Calculator
Chart showing average fixed operations and maintenance cost of distributed generation energy technologies.
Variable O&M Costs
 Variable O&M
Variable O&M
Std. Dev.
(+/- $/kWh)
Biomass Combustion Combined Heat and Power* $0.07 $0.02
*Unit cost is per unit kWh of the electrical generator, not the boiler heat capacity.

O&M Costs for Thermal Technologies
Solar Water Heat, flat plate and evacuated tube 0.5 to 1.0% initial installed cost
Solar Water Heat, plastic collector 0.5 to 1.0% initial installed cost
Solar Vent Preheat 1 Watt/ft2 fan power
Biomass Wood Heat $91/kW +/-$33/kW
Ground Source Heat Pump $109 +/-94/ton