Which Plants are Used the Most Today?
Power plants are not always available to generate electricity. Electricity output depends on many factors, including power plant operating characteristics, fuel prices, the availability of renewable resources, and daily and seasonal changes in electricity demand. Wind turbines only operate when the wind is blowing; natural gas plants are called on to manage fluctuations in demand; coal plants schedule maintenance for the Spring and Fall when electricity demand is down. The graphic shows the number of equivalent days each generation type typically operates over the course of a year in the United States. This diverse mix ensures that affordable electricity is available year-round.