The United States is currently the largest economy in the world. It’s energy requirements you can therefore imagine is huge.
The country has therefore equally invested in power production. It is the second largest power producer in the world. In 2021 it produced a total of 4, 381, 000 gigawatts/hour.
Below are the largest contributors to power in the USA.
- Grand Coulee Hydroelectric Power Plant in Washington (Capacity 6,480 MW)
- Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant in Arizona (Capacity 3, 942MW)
- Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant in Alabama (Capacity 3775)
- West County Natural Gas Power Plant in Florida (Capacity 3750)
- W. A. Parish Natural gas/coal power plant in Texas (Capacity 3,653)
- Robert W. Scherer Coal Power Plant in Georgia (Capacity 3720)
- Bowen Coal Power Plant in Georgia (Capacity 3499)
- Monroe Coal Power Plant in Michigan (Capacity 3400)
- Gibson Coal Power Plant in Indiana (Capacity 3,339.5)
- Bath County Pumped storage hydroelectric power plant in Virginia (Capacity 3,003)
1. Grand Coulee Hydroelectric Power Plant
Located approximately 28 miles northeast of Coulee City in Grant and Okanogan Counties on the Columbia River, Grand Coulee Hydroelectric Power Plant is the largest power plant in the USA based on nominal capacity.
The power plant is hydroelectric and it was commissioned in 1942. It has an installed capacity of 6,480MW or the equivalent of more than 21 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. This production is enough to supply uninterrupted electricity to approximately 2 million households over the same period.
Also Read: Top 5 ongoing mega projects in USA in 2020
2. Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant
Also known as the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS), Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant is considered the largest of its kind in the United States. However, it takes up the second position in the list of the largest power plants overall with a nominal capacity of 3,942 MW.
Located in Tonopah, Maricopa County, Arizona the power plant has a total of three pressurized water reactors. Units 1 and 2 were commissioned in 1986 while unit 3 was commissioned in 1987. Construction began in 1976 for all units.
3. Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant
The Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant is located on the Tennessee River near Decatur and Athens, Alabama, on the north side (right bank) of Wheeler Lake. The facility is made up of three General Electric boiling water reactors (BWR) nuclear-generating units with an installed capacity of 3775 megawatts.
The first of the units, built between 1966 and 1973 has the capacity to generate 1,256 MWe. The second and the third units on the other hand have a capacity to generate 1,259 MWe and 1,260 MWe respectively. They were built between 1967 and 1975 and between 1968 and 1977.
4. West County Natural Gas Power Plant
Famously known as the West County Energy Center, the West County natural gas power plant is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The power plant features three 1,250MW multi-shaft combined cycle gas turbine generating units. The units generate a total of 3750MW of electricity enough to serve over 750, 000 homesteads and businesses.
Units 1 and 2 of the facility began serving customers in August 2009 and November 2009, respectively. Unit 3 on the other hand began serving customers in June 2011.
5. W. A. Parish
Made up of two four-unit plants, one of which is a natural gas unit while the others are coal units, W.A. Parish Generating Station is a dual-fired power plant located near Thompsons in Texas.
The power plant, with a total installed capacity of 3,653 MW, entered into commercial operation in 1977 but it is however likely to be shut down following complaints that it is polluting the air and contributing to approximately 178 premature deaths each year.
It is also performing poorly in terms of electricity generation. During the 2021 Texas power crisis, it was reported to have experienced up to a 664 MW loss in generation capacity, including an 80 MW decrease in capacity early in the crisis that contributed to the need for rolling blackouts.
6. Robert W. Scherer
The Robert W. Scherer Power Plant, also known as Plant Scherer is a coal-fired power plant located in Juliette, Georgia. The plant comprises four generating units, each capable of producing 930 megawatts for a total installed capacity of 3520MW.
The first of the four units was brought online in 1982 while the additional units were brought online in 1984, 1987, and 1989. Georgia Power Co. the owner and operator of the power plant has plans to decommission units 3 and 4 in 2024 and 2022 respectively.
7. Bowen Steam Power Plant
Plant Bowen or rather Bowen Steam Plant, is a 3499MW coal-fired power plant located just outside Euharlee, Georgia, approximately 14 km west-south-west from Cartersville.
It is made up of four units, with electricity generation capacities of 806, 789, 952, and 952 megawatts, respectively. The first unit began operation in 1971, and additional units were respectively brought online in 1972, 1974, and 1975.
8. Monroe Power Plant
Monroe Power Plant is a coal-fired power plant located in Monroe, Michigan, on the western shore of Lake Erie. Commissioned in 1971 the facility has 4 generating units that run on dual-fuel, the primary one being sub-bituminous, and the secondary slash the substitute being Bituminous.
DTE Energy Electric Company, a subsidiary of DTE Energy is the owner of the Monroe Power Plant.
9. Gibson Generating Station
Gibson Generating Station is a 3,339.5-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Duke Energy Indiana near Princeton, Indiana, just opposite the Wabash River from Mount Carmel, Illinois.
The power plant operates with a total of five units. Each of the first three has an electricity generation capacity of 630 megawatts. The 4th and the fifth units have generating capacities of 622 and 620 megawatts respectively.
10. Bath County Pumped Storage Station
The Bath County Pumped Storage Station is a pumped-storage hydroelectric power plant. It has a maximum generation capacity of 3,003 MW and a total storage capacity of 24,000 MWh.
Located in the northern corner of Bath County, Virginia, the facility was built between 1977 and 1985. It consists of two reservoirs separated by an approximately 1,260 feet elevation and a total of 6 Francis turbines.