Electricity Generating Cost Model for Comparison of California Power Plant Siting Alternatives

by Robert Petruschell, Richard G. Salter

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Describes a cost model (1) to provide some initial insights into the cost implications of siting either nuclear or fossil-fueled electric generating plants, with varying configurations, at a representative range of possible sites in or adjacent to the State of California, and (2) to develop a formal set of cost estimating methods that can be used to investigate alternative possibilities. Nuclear, coal-fired, oil-fired, and natural gas-fired plant types are compared for operation in 1985. Costs considered in the estimating relationship are basic plant costs, cooling costs, water consumption and water conveyance costs, transmission costs, and seismic construction costs. The cost estimating methods developed are not intended to be used for making precise estimates of the costs of particular plant/site combinations based on detailed engineering specifications, but rather to bring into focus the broader relationships between major site and plant characteristics and costs.

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