What you Should Know about Hydroelectricity Cost

For many decades now, water is seen as one of the would-be saviors of the energy sector. Even the biggest players in other industries have placed much faith on this renewable resource. For example, a check with history books reveal that Henry Ford also turned to hydroelectric power plant in order to sustain his many car factories, for example like the one near the Great Miami River.

The plant is no longer there, but the technology that powered the plant still remains alive. And right now, this renewable energy source is still picking up steam thanks mainly to the benefits that it delivers. There are recent developments that suggest that many rivers in the United States will play host to these plants, for example there will be small plants that can be expected along the Ohio River Valley and the Mississippi River.

Whatever the hydroelectricity costs may be, still the stakeholders and the policy makers are looking at what this renewable energy source can do to the communities. And there are some cases wherein no matter how costly the production of hydropower can be still policymakers pursue the production and consumers take the benefits.

Just take the case of Hamilton, Ohio. This is the place where the Ford plant once stood. And the city of Hamilton bought the old power plant in 1963, got another one which was located in Ohio River and planning another one in Cincinnati.

So what are the end results for this bold project of the city government? Thanks to this bold move, the needs of more than 30,000 consumers were solved and this was made as the lowest electricity rate in Ohio, if you trace it price per watt. But the hydroelectric power plant cost is staggering for the city government. Based on records, the price tag was at $450 million for the past 40 years.

What makes the investment pricey is the cost of construction. But once the construction of the plant is over, and then the headaches will all be gone since there is no fuel costs associated with the maintenance of the hydropower plants. And this is the reason why it’s a good investment move, by considering hydroelectricity. Also, the end consumers benefit from the energy as well. In the case of Hamilton, the cost of hydroelectricity per KW is pegged at 9.7 cents. This means that there is money in this energy even though there is high hydroelectricity costs associated to starting up.

For anyone looking for an idea as to how much is needed for a project, Idaho National Laboratory posted its own take on how costly the project is, using US technology. On the site, it posted that the capital cost is around $1700 to $2300 per kW and the operations cost/kWh is 4.05 million or 0.40 cents and the maintenance costs per kWh is 0.30 cents with an operating life of more than 50 years. This figure is for a capacity factor of 40-50 percent and an average size of 31 MW.