EIA: Average U.S. coal plant is pushing 40 years old

Texas has the most coal-fired capacity of any state at 23.6 GW

Content Dam Elp Online Articles 2015 August Navajo Coal Power Plant Elp

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported 88 percent of coal-fired power plants (by capacity) in the country was built between 1950 and 1990.

The average currently-operating coal facility in the country is now 39 years old. Coal-fired power plants now account for 25 percent of operating capacity in the country.

Half of the coal capacity uses bituminous coal, which is the most abundant type of coal in the United States and typically mined in Appalachian states. The rest use sub-bituminous coal, which is produced in the western states and generally has a lower sulfur content than bituminous coal.

Less than five percent of operating coal capacity uses lignite or other coal types.

Average annual net generation from coal-fired units reached an annual high of 2 billion kilowatthours in 2007 and has since fallen to 1.2 billion kilowatthours in 2016.

Texas has the most coal-fired capacity of any state at 23.6 GW, or nine percent of the national total. Indiana and Ohio are the only other two states with at least 15 GW of coal capacity.

Twelve states have less than 1 GW of coal capacity, including Maine and Vermont with no coal facilities at all.

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