SAM's financial model calculates financial metrics for various kinds of power projects based on a project's cash flows over an analysis period that you specify. The financial model uses the system's electrical output calculated by the performance model to calculate the series of annual cash flows.

The equations SAM uses to calculate the financial metrics are based on the definitions and methods described in the following handbook:

  • Short, W., Packey, D., Holt, T. (1995) A Manual for the Economic Evaluation of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies. National Renewable Energy Laboratory. NREL/TP-462-5173. (PDF 6.6 MB)

SAM includes financial models for the following kinds of projects:

It also includes a simple levelized cost of energy calculator based on a fixed charge rate input.