Natural gas combined-cycle power plants increased utilization with improved technology
by Lindsay Aramayo & Mark Morey; U.S. Energy Information Administration | Source: EIA | Posted 11/20/2023
CCGT capacity factor rose from 40% in 2008 to 57% in 2022 as the operating efficiency of new CCGT units has improved.
AI generated summary
The utilization rate of combined-cycle natural gas turbine (CCGT) power plants in the US has increased due to improvements in operating efficiency. The average capacity factor for CCGT units has risen from 40% in 2008 to 57% in 2022. This increase in efficiency has made newer CCGT units more competitive against other fuel sources and older CCGT units.
The utilization of CCGT units is influenced by the efficiency of the generator and the cost of natural gas. The introduction of more advanced natural gas turbine technology in the mid-2010s has improved the efficiency of newer gas-fired power plants. Additionally, lower natural gas prices have increased capacity factors at gas-fired power plants as it becomes a cheaper source of electricity compared to other sources. CCGT units built between 2010 and 2022 have the lowest operating costs and thus are dispatched more frequently compared to older CCGT power plants.
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