Net power generation fell in February, EIA says

Net electric power generation in the U.S. was down 2.1 percent in February 2011 compared with February 2010, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Over the same month-over-month period, wind generation was up 87.8 percent, the largest absolute "fuel-specific" increase. Wind generation posted the largest gains in Texas, Minnesota and Illinois. Of the 37 states that had wind generation reported to EIA, Vermont was the only one that reported less generation in February 2011 than in February 2010.

Hydroelectric generation posted the next-largest increase. Higher water volumes in the Pacific Northwest drove the increase. EIA said natural gas-fired generation was up fractionally.

Coal-fired generators posted the largest fuel-specific decline from February 2010 to February 2011, down 9.5 percent. Declines in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Indiana and West Virginia were the largest. Lower nuclear generation accounted for the second-largest fuel-specific drop, 0.7 percent.

EIA said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration  reported that average February temperatures across the contiguous U.S. was near normal. By contrast, the average February temperature in 2010 was below normal. That meant heating degree days were 9.4 percent lower than February 2010.

The Federal Reserve also reported that industrial production was 5.6 percent higher than in February 2010. That was the 14th consecutive month that industrial production was higher than in the same month of the previous year.

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