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Additional power generation capacity is required in order to meet growth in US electricity demand coupled with the retirement of aging coal-fired and nuclear plants. The traditional approach to new capacity requirements is the construction of new power generating plants. This requires a substantial investment in land, natural gas line and transmission system interconnections and upgrades, substation interconnection, new plant construction, additional plant staff, and general plant annual O&M expenses including gas turbine major maintenance.
This analysis compares the capital cost, annual Operations and Maintenance (“O&M”) costs, and annual fuel costs of new generating plants with upgrading the capacity of existing generation facilities.