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ORNL Hydropower Cost Database Extract from FERC Form-1


Dataset Overview

The ORNL Hydropower Cost Database Extract from FERC Form-1 is a cleaned and compiled version of the hydropower component of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Electric Utility Annual Report, also known as Form-1. The database includes conventional and pumped storage hydropower plants owned by non-federal major utilities that submitted the Form 1 data from 1994-2020, representing about 22% of existing conventional hydropower capacity and 61% of pumped storage capacity. The database includes the escalation factors and describes the methods used to scale costs to a common data year, as well as tables of identifiers necessary to link the hydropower plants to two other relevant databases, the National Inventory of Dams and the ORNL Existing Hydropower Assets database. This database provides historical capital and operating costs for three schedules/classes defined in Form 1: Large Hydro, Pumped Storage Hydro, and Small Hydro. The Large Hydro and Pumped Storage Hydro data include cost items, such as land, structures, facilities, etc.

The Form 1 data from 1994-2020 were compiled from the FERC website by downloading the zipped Visual Fox Pro data files for each year. The unzipped data for each year were read and compiled into an Excel Workbook using a Microsoft VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) script. Since the compiled data did not include metadata, interpretation of the tabular data was based on information from the Uniform System of Accounts and the Form-1 submission document. Cost data were escalated to a 2020-dollar year as described Field Descriptions tab of the database.