Nuclear Power Accounts for 9 of the 10 Highest-Generating Power Plants in the U.S.
Updated: Dec 16, 2020
A recent federal Energy Information Administration report showed that nine of the 10 highest-generating power plants in the U.S. last year were nuclear. The top 10 power plants generated a combined 230 million MWh in 2019, according to the EIA. That total is nearly 6 percent of all U.S. electricity generation.
Ten years earlier, the top producing U.S. generating stations were a combination of coal-fired and nuclear. At that time, coal-fired capacity was 45 percent of the U.S. mix, now falling to 23 percent, statistics show.
Nuclear is holding steady at between 19-21 percent of the nationwide generation capacity. The Palo Verde, Browns Ferry, and Oconee nuclear power plants have consistently been among the 10 largest generators of electricity in the United States because they are the only nuclear plants with three reactor units, which gives them more generating capacity. Nuclear power plants have the highest capacity factor of any energy source in the United States, at 94% fleet-wide in 2019, because nuclear plants generally operate around-the-clock until they are taken offline for maintenance or refueling. Capacity factors for the nine nuclear plants in the top 10 range from 89% (Browns Ferry) to 99% (Byron and Peach Bottom).
Nuclear-powered generation produces more than half of the nation’s carbon-free electricity.
Read more at Power Engineering