Opinion

Coal Stockpiles at U.S. Coal Power Plants Have Fallen Since Last Year


graph of monthly coal stocks at electricity plants, as explained in the article text

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity Monthly Update

In August 2017, coal stockpiles at electric power plants were 144 million tons, the lowest monthly level since late 2014, according to EIA's Electric Power Monthly. Coal stockpiles at U.S. coal-fired power plants typically follow a seasonal pattern of increasing during the spring and fall, when electricity demand is relatively low, and decreasing during the summer and winter, when electricity demand is relatively high. Coal stockpiles typically reach their lowest point in August.

graph of monthly coal consumption, stocks, and receipts by electricity plants, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electric Power Monthly

Coal plants generally stockpile much more coal than they consume in a month. Coal consumed by power plants follows the seasonal pattern in overall electricity generation, meaning coal consumption is typically highest in summer and winter months and lowest in spring and fall months. Coal receipts at power plants fluctuate less than consumption, but they have averaged 53,000 tons in each month of 2017, slightly lower than the average monthly consumption rate of 56,000 tons, based on data through August.

Coal receipts are less variable than consumption because the producing mines and coal transporters (mainly railroads) generally require power plants to receive coal at a roughly constant rate during the year.

In addition to surveying coal stockpile levels, EIA also calculates how long these stockpiles would last assuming no additional coal was received. This value, known as days of burn, considers each plant's current stockpile level and its estimated consumption rate in coming months. EIA estimates the historical burn rate by averaging the most recent three years of historical data and applying that to the upcoming months.

graph of estimated days of burn, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity Monthly Update

As of August 2017, about 55% of total coal stocks were subbituminous coal, most of which is produced in Wyoming. On average, coal plants using subbituminous coal can operate about 80 days at August 2017 stockpile levels. Another 42% of coal stocks are bituminous coal from states such as West Virginia, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Plants using bituminous coal can operate about 90 days at August 2017 stockpile levels. Individual plants may be capable of operating on much shorter or longer timelines, depending on their own stockpile levels and consumption rates.

In the Electricity Monthly Update, individual plant-level stockpile estimates are aggregated into three categories: those with more than 60 days of burn, those with 30 days to 60 days of burn, and those with less than 30 days of burn. As of August 2017, 57% of U.S. coal-fired electricity generating capacity had more than 60 days of burn. About 33% of capacity had between 30 days to 60 days of burn, and the remaining 10% had fewer than 30 days of burn.

graph of U.S. coal-fired electricity generating capacity by days of burn, as explained in the article text
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Electricity Monthly Update
Note: Excludes plants using lignite coal.

Coal stockpile data for individual power plants are currently treated as confidential. At the end of 2017, EIA will release coal stockpile data by plant for 2002 to 2016, introducing a new annual data release.

Principal contributors: Sara Hoff, Owen Comstock



New service from OilVoice
Trip Shepherd is for companies who need to track their staff in areas of risk.
It's free to use, so we invite you to try it.

Visit source site

https://eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=33692&...

EIAEnergy Information Administration EIAUnited StatesCoalpower plants

More items from oilvoice


Cyber Security Experts Unite to Protect Europe’s Critical Industries

CS4CA Summit Returns to London this October Staying abreast of fast-paced industry developments is crucial for cyber security professionals. And while one can learn a lot from publications and social media, it's hard to beat the value of insights gained first-hand from peers. This is why 150+ IT ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 2 months agoPress > cybereurope

Africa E&P Summit

The organisers of the Africa E&P Summit are bringing together Africa's leading exploration companies and governments, just one of the many reasons why you should be attending frontier's event that they are organising and hosting in London at the IET: Savoy Place, 22-23 May. Over 200 key senior exec ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 6 months agoPress > Africasummitoil summit +2

Equinor Deepens in Offshore Wind in Poland

Equinor has exercised an option to acquire a 50 % interest in the offshore wind development project Bałtyk I in Poland from Polenergia. This transaction is a follow-up of the agreement between the two companies which came into force in May 2018 , by which Equinor acquired a 50 % inter ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 10 months agoPress > EquinorEquinor EnergyPoland +2

Nigeria has highest capex on crude and natural gas projects in sub-Saharan Africa Over Next Seven Years, says GlobalData

Nigeria accounts for more than 34% of the proposed capital expenditure (capex) on planned and announced crude and natural gas projects in the sub-Saharan Africa over the period 2018–2025, according to GlobalData , a leading data and analytics company. The company's report: ‘H2 2018 Production ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 10 months agoOpinion > GlobalDataNigeriaCrude +5

CNOOC Signs Strategic Cooperation Agreements with 9 International Oil Companies

HONG KONG, Dec. 18, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- CNOOC Limited (the "Company", SEHK: 00883, NYSE: CEO, TSX: CNU) announced today that its parent company, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), has signed Strategic Cooperation Agreements with 9 international oil companies including: Chevron, Conoco ...

OilVoice Press - OilVoice


Posted 10 months agoPress > CNOOCChina National Offshore Oil CorporationChevron +11
All posts from oilvoice