EPRI: U.S. has potential for 952 GW of nuclear, coal and solar power

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) released a study Feb. 27 that provides an assessment of the physical and geographic capacities to site nuclear, advanced coal, and solar plants throughout the U.S.

The study, titled “Application of spatial Data Modeling and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) for Identification of Potential Siting Options for Various Electrical Generation Sources,” shows potential electric generation capacity of 158 GW for new advanced coal in Montana, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia; 60 GW of dry-cooled and 18 GW of water-cooled concentrated solar in California, Idaho and Montana; and 515 GW for large nuclear reactors and 201 GW for small nuclear reactors throughout the U.S.

The study suggests very large capacity for compressed air energy storage with plant siting opportunities in 38 percent of the contiguous United States, primarily in the middle regions of the country.

The EPRI-funded study was conducted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The lab developed the Oak Ridge Siting Analysis for Power Generation Expansion model to support power generation siting evaluations. The siting tool uses geographic information systems (GIS) datasources help to identify appropriate sites for different electricity generation technologies.

“We think the greatest value from this report and from future use of ORNL’s model will be in support of long-term strategic planning at the national level, as it relates to national energy security, environmental protection, and prudent use of natural resources, particularly water,” said Francisco de la Chesnaye, EPRI’s Energy and Environment  Analysis program manager. “It will alsoprovide critical input to regional generating capacity needs as a function of population growth and electricity demand and reliability.”

Download the report by clicking here.

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