Star-spangled super power- the ten biggest power stations in the US

2 July 2014 (Last Updated July 30th, 2020 20:49)

Six of the ten biggest power stations in the US are fossil-fuelled, while the other four, including the two biggest Grand Coulee and Palo Verde, are hydro -and nuclear-powered. Power-technology.com profiles the ten biggest power stations in the US based on installed capacity.

Star-spangled super power- the ten biggest power stations in the US

Grand Coulee power plant

Grand Coulee - 6,809MW

The 6,809MW Grand Coulee hydropower facility located on the Columbia River in Washington, is by far and away the biggest power station in the US. The plant is owned and operated by the US Bureau of Reclamation and has been in operation since 1941, it produced 26.46TWh of electricity in 2012.

The hydroelectric project consists of three power plants and a concrete gravity dam 168m high and 1,592m long. The first two power plants comprise of 18 Francis turbines rated at 125MW and three 10MW additional units, commissioned between 1941 and 1950. The third power plant consists of three 805MW units and three 600MW units commissioned between 1975 and 1980. In addition, the power station operates six peak generators totalling 314MW capacity.

Palo Verde NPP

Palo Verde Nuclear Power Station - 4,242 MW

he Palo Verde nuclear power station located at Wintersburg, Arizona has 4,242MW gross electrical capacity and 3,937MW net power capacity making it the second biggest power station in the US. The nuclear power facility, owned and operated by Arizona Public Service Company (APS), has been in commercial operation since 1986.

The NPP comprises of three pressurised water reactor (PWR) units of 1,414MW gross electrical capacity each. The three units generated 31.43TWh of electricity in 2013.

Martin Power Plant- 3,731MW

With 3,731MW capacity, Martin power plant in Indiantown, Martin County, Florida, is the biggest thermal power plant in the US. The natural gas-based power station is owned and operated by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.

The power station comprises of three combined cycle gas turbine units with a total generating capacity of 2,079MW and two gas/oil-based steam electric generating units of 1,652MW capacity. The power station generated 11.85TWh of electricity in 2013.

WA Parish Generating Station

WA Parish Generating Station- 3,665MW

The 3,665MW WA Parish power facility located near Richmond, Fort Bend County, Texas is a coal- and gas-fired power station owned and operated by NRG Energy. The plant was built in 1958 and produced electricity from gas only until it was converted into coal-based operation in 1977.

The power station now consists of four coal fired units of 2,504MW total capacity and four gas-fired units with over 1,150MW capacity. A post-combustion carbon capture demonstration unit, scheduled for completion in 2016, is currently being developed at the power station with $154m funding support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The plant produced 15.8TWh of electricity in 2013.

West County Energy Center

West County Energy Center - 3,657MW

The West County Energy Center, a 3,657MW combined cycle natural gas power plant, is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. The power station, owned and operated by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), was commissioned in 2009.

The $1.2bn project comprises of three identical natural gas-fired combined-cycle generating units. The first two units were commissioned in August and November 2009 respectively, and the last unit was brought into operation in June 2011. The plant generated 13.54TWh electricity in 2013.

Plant Scherer

Plant Scherer - 3,520MW

The Robert W Scherer Power Plant, also known as Plant Scherer, is a 3,520MW coal-fired power plant located in Juliette, Georgia. Operated by Georgia Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, the power station began commercial operation in 1982.

The Scherer power plant consists of four 880MW coal-fired units which were brought into operation between 1982 and 1989. The power station generated 20.3TWh of electricity in 2013.

Browns Ferry NPP

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant - 3,465MW

Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant located on the north shore of Wheeler Reservoir near Decatur in north Alabama, has 3,465MW gross electrical capacity and 3,310MW net capacity making it the seventh biggest power facility in the US. The NPP is owned and operated by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and has been in commercial operation since 1974.

The Browns Ferry NPP consists of three boiling water reactor (BWR) units of 1,155MW gross electrical capacity each. The nuclear power facility generated 26.17TWh of electricity in 2013.

Plant Bowen

Plant Bowen- 3,160MW

The 3,160MW Bowen coal-fired power plant located away from the Euharlee city in Georgia is owned and operated by Georgia Power and was commissioned in 1975.

The power plant comprises of two 700MW and two 880MW supercritical coal-fired power units connected to USA's south-eastern power grid. A 700MW unit suffered damage in an explosion in April 2013, and was kept offline for maintenance and repair until the end of last year. The plant generated 12.8TWh of electricity in 2013.

Gibson Power Station

Gibson Power Station- 3,145MW

Duke Energy's 3,145MW Gibson power station in Gibson County, Indiana, began commercial operation in 1976. The coal-fired power station was built by Public Service Indiana (PSI), which was acquired by Cinergy in 1995. Duke Energy gained ownership of the plant through the acquisition of Cinergy in 2006.

The power station initially consisted of two units, which were expanded to five 630MW coal fired units supplied by GE by 1982. Net electricity generation at the plant in 2013 stood at 17.3TWh.

Bath County Pumped Storage Power Station- 3,003MW

Bath County pumped storage hydroelectric power station in Bath County, Virginia, has an installed capacity of 3,003MW making it the biggest pumped storage power facility in the world. The power station, jointly owned by Dominion (60%) and Allegheny Power System, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy (40%), began commercial operation in 1985.

The plant consists of two reservoirs and a powerhouse comprising of six Francis-type 500.5MW turbine generators manufactured by Allis Chalmers.

NRI Energy Technology