by Teresa Hansen, editor in chief
You’ll definitely want to read the Industry Report in the November/December issue of Electric Light & Power magazine, set to publish the second week of December. To calculate the rankings, I interviewed Tom Hewson, principal at Arlington, Va.-based Energy Ventures Inc., and Dave Pressman, an analyst there.
Until 2009, the worse recession on record had little impact on the country’s electricity generators. In 2009, however, the recession was partly to blame for a decrease in the amount of electricity generated by coal-fired power plants. U.S. coal-fired power plants generated 236 fewer megawatt-hours in 2009 than they did in 2008, a decrease of about 12 percent.
“Coal is being utilized less,” Hewson said. His firm specializes in energy and environmental market analysis.
This decrease is caused partially by an increase in natural gas use. Gas prices continued to stay low in 2009, while Appalachian coal prices remained about the same as they were in 2008, which was fairly high, Hewson said. In addition to favorable gas prices, more renewable energy displaced some coal-fired generation.
Hewson and Pressman generated seven tables for this annual Electric Light & Power report from data contained in Form EIA (Energy Information Administration) 906, “Power Plant Report.” Below is a preview of the top three power plants in each of the seven categories.
Top Three Coal Generators Ranked by Generation (2009)
- Southern Co., Scherer plant in Georgia: 22,971,057 MWh
- Southern Co., Bowen plant in Georgia: 21,528,807 MWh
- Southern Co., Miller plant in Alabama: 20,744,807 MWh
Top Three Coal Generators Ranked by Capacity Factor (2009)
- Rio Bravo Power/Constellation, Rio Bravo Poso plant in California: 99.5 percent
- Yellowstone Energy LP, Yellowstone Energy Ltd Partnership plant in Montana: 98.9 percent
- Platte River Power Authority, Rawhide plant in Colorado: 96.6 percent
Top Three Coal Generators Ranked by Heat Rate (2009)
- City of Los Angeles, Intermountain plant in Utah: 9,258 Btu/KWh
- Cogentrix, Cedar Bay plant in Florida: 9,327 Btu/KWh
- Duke, Belews Creek plant in North Carolina: 9,336 Btu/KWh
Top Three Coal Generators Ranked by SO2 Emissions (2009)
- Great Plains Energy, Iatan plant in Missouri: 0.0064 Lbs/mmBtu
- WEPCO, Elm Road plant in Wisconsin: 0.0181 Lbs/mmBtu
- WEPCO, Pleasant Prairie plant in Wisconsin: 0.0231 Lbs/mmBtu
Top Three Coal Generators Ranked by NOX Emissions (2009)
- Suez Energy, Northeastern Power Co. plant in Pennsylvania: 0.034 Lbs/mmBtu
- Buckeye Power, Cardinal plant in Ohio: 0.038 Lbs/mmBtu
- Duke, Belews Creek plant in North Carolina: 0.041 Lbs/mmBtu
Top Three Nuclear Plants Ranked by Generation (2009)
- Arizona Public Service Co., Palo Verde plant in Arizona: 30,661,851 MWh
- TVA, Browns Ferry plant in Alabama: 25,742,627 MWh
- Reliant Energy, South Texas plant in Texas: 21,356,148 MWh
Top Three Nuclear Plants Ranked by Capacity Factor (2009)
- Progress Energy, H B Robinson plant in South Carolina: 101.2 percent
- Entergy, Grand Gulf plant in Mississippi: 99.7 percent
- Entergy, Fitzpatrick plant in New York: 98.8 percent
You may find the top 20 performers in all seven categories in our print issue and on our Web site beginning the second week of December.