How Much Does an Industrial Generator Cost? Pricing Factors Unveiled

how much does an industrial generator cost

Determining the industrial generator cost involves several factors as the investment in this type of equipment can be significant. Industrial generators are vital for sectors where power interruptions can cause critical disruptions, such as in hospitals, data centers, or manufacturing facilities. Generators come in various sizes and capacities designed to meet specific needs. Whether one needs a standby generator or continuous power supply solution, understand that price can vary greatly. The right generator ensures power backup and peace of mind, but choosing the right generator requires careful consideration of cost versus features and reliability.

When businesses consider whole-house generators or larger industrial models, a guarantee of uninterrupted operations justifies the expenditure on high-performance equipment. An industrial generator’s cost is contingent on the power capacity. Options range from small generators suitable for backup purposes to robust systems designed for constant service. Beyond the initial expense of setup and the ongoing expense of maintenance, there are also long-term expenses to consider which we’ll go over below.

Given the diverse applications and requirements for power generation, the cost of an industrial generator is a wide range. Prospective buyers must analyze the operational demands, maintenance capabilities, and specifications of each unit to evaluate the total cost of ownership. This comprehensive approach ensures that organizations select a generator that delivers the required power backup without incurring unnecessary expenses. These are the factors that best secure a balance between upfront costs and operational efficiency.

Understanding Industrial Generator Costs

When determining the cost of an industrial generator, it’s important to consider the type of generator and how the specific type influences price.

Types of Industrial Generators

Industrial generators come in various forms to meet specific needs. Standby generators offer backup power during outages while portable generators provide movable solutions where temporary power is needed. The main types of commercial generators include diesel-powered generators, coveted for their durability and efficiency, and natural gas generators, known for cleaner operation and fuel availability. 

Factors Influencing the Price

Several factors influence the overall cost of industrial generators. These include:

  • Size of the generator:
    • Measured in kilowatts (kW) or kilovolt-amperes (kVA)
    • Determines power capacity and price
  • Fuel type:
    • Options include diesel, natural gas, propane, or others
    • Impacts both initial cost and long-term fuel expenses
  • Fuel efficiency:
    • Affects long-term operational costs
  • Noise level:
    • Consideration for installation location and regulatory compliance
  • Installation and commissioning fees:
    • Costs associated with setting up the generator
  • Regular maintenance:
    • Necessary for efficient operation over the generator’s lifetime
Cost FactorDescription
Fuel TypeAffects initial purchase and ongoing fuel costs
SizePower capability related to physical dimensions
Installation & CommissioningProfessional setup fees
Regular MaintenanceEnsures operational efficiency and longevity

Price Range of Industrial Generators

The industrial generator market offers a broad pricing spectrum. A smaller standby generator for an office setting, useful for powering essential amenities, may start around $22,000. Conversely, a large generator with the capacity to support an entire industrial facility might cost upwards of $125,000. Generally, acquiring a new generator is a good idea for those looking for reliability and longevity, but it does come with a higher upfront cost compared to second-hand or used generators. However, even used units should come with consideration for potential free shipping orders and the balance of upfront savings against longer-term maintenance costs.

When considering an industrial generator, it is crucial to assess the specific applications and the long-term operational costs, rather than focusing solely on the initial purchase price.

Operational Considerations and Additional Costs

Industrial generators are significant investments with ongoing expenses. Operational costs, routine maintenance, and the logistics of installation are crucial factors influencing the total cost of ownership for industrial generators.

Running Costs and Fuel Consumption

Industrial generators, such as those used in data centers or for temporary power at construction sites, consume fuel based on their power output and duration of use. Diesel fuel is a common choice for these applications, offering a blend of energy density and availability. Larger generators, especially in settings like larger business premises or those with heavy machinery, can increase fuel expenses considerably. The cost of fuel also varies, impacting the operational budget, particularly during times of unprecedented demand.

  • Fuel Type: Diesel, gasoline, natural gas
  • Power Output: Measured in kW or MW
  • Usage: Based on hours of operation

For example, a 250 kW diesel generator might consume around 20 gallons of diesel per hour of operation.

Maintenance and Service Plans

Maintenance costs for generators scale with the amount of use. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure uninterrupted power supply, especially for critical services such as hospitals or emergency power for office buildings. Service plans can mitigate these costs by providing structured and regular maintenance. Generators with robust base frames from reputable brands, such as those with Perkins engines, generally require less maintenance in the long run.

  • Maintenance Interval: Monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual
  • Service Plan Benefits: Cost predictability, extended lifespan

Diesel engines may have maintenance costs that remain relatively stable regardless of operational hours, mitigating long-term expense variability.

Installation and Infrastructure

The initial installation costs of an industrial generator extends beyond the purchase price. Larger units designed for industrial applications may require construction of additional infrastructure such as robust base frames and transfer switches. The cost for installation will depend on the complexity of the electric power needs and the square footage of the industrial unit.

  • Installation Costs: Include labor, materials, infrastructure
  • Equipment: Backup generators, uninterrupted power supply (UPS) systems, safety features

For instance, installing backup generators for an average-sized data center could involve substantial layout changes to accommodate the generator and an uninterrupted power supply system for emergency power.


What is the price range for commercial diesel generators?

Commercial diesel generators vary widely in price, typically starting at around $22,000. Factors such as power capacity and additional features influence the final cost, with prices scaling upwards accordingly for higher-end models.

What factors determine the cost of industrial generators?

The cost of industrial generators is driven by their intended application. Features such as fuel type, power output, and redundancy capabilities can lead to varying costs. Generators designed for continuous operation in critical settings, like hospitals and data centers, often have higher prices due to the advanced specifications required.

How are industrial generator prices affected by power output?

The power output of an industrial generator is directly proportional to its price. Higher power output generally entails the use of more robust and expensive components, which increases the overall cost of the generator.

Can you estimate the lifetime costs of owning and operating an industrial generator?

Estimating the total lifetime cost of owning an industrial generator involves considering acquisition, installation, maintenance, and operation costs. Diesel generators often present as the most economical option when these factors are taken into account against potential power outages and the need for reliable power.

How do rental prices for industrial generators compare to purchasing?

Rental prices for industrial generators provide a short-term solution that avoids the upfront purchase cost. However, in the long term, renting may become more expensive when compared to outright purchasing, especially for ongoing or repeated use.

What should be considered when calculating the cost per kWh for diesel generators?

When calculating the cost per kWh for diesel generators, factors such as fuel consumption, maintenance schedules, efficiency, and the cost of diesel fuel must be considered. The generator’s load and operating conditions also play a crucial role in influencing its cost per kWh.

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