The Plant & Utility Capacity Factor App combines nameplate data from plants reported in the EIA Form 860, and plant power generation data in the EIA Form 923 to calculate the capacity factor of plants and utilities.
Capacity Factor is defined as “the ratio of the electrical energy produced by a generating unit for the period of time considered to the electrical energy that could have been produced at continuous full power operation during the same period.” The potential energy produced at full operation is calculated from the nameplate capacity, calculated from Megawatts to Megawatt Hours, of the individual generators under each plant and summed to the plant level. The actual energy produced is reported at the plant level.
Capacity Factor is calculated as follows:
Actual Generation (MWh) / (Nameplate Capacity (MW) x 8760)
This data can then be used to compare utilities and plants against one another by regulatory status, plant energy source, sector, and FERC status for wholesale, cogeneration, and small producers. This data is then trended between on an annual basis.
Aspects of the application are also designed for easy exportability of both data and visualizations, either to combine with other data sources or to include in presentations.
The main view provides a profile on a single company over time, analyzing their average capacity factor, total nameplate capacity, and overall generation.
The filter along the top of the screen impacts the entire dashboard and allows users to select the company/utility, year, energy source category, and more specific energy source subset codes. The filter in the middle of the screen entitled Year (table) only impacts the Capacity Factor Table at the bottom of the screen.
This visual represents the calculated capacity factor over time for the company/utility selected. This number can be modified by using the energy source filters at the top of the app. For example: selecting Georgia Power under “company” and nuclear under “energy source category” will show the average capacity factor of Georgia Power’s entire nuclear generation portfolio.
This visual shows the total generation capacity (in megawatt hours) for the utility selected. The bars are presented as a stack, meaning each generation source is stacked to show the total potential generation and the source as a proportion of the total generation portfolio. Using the energy source category filters will narrow this visual to show only the selected energy types.
This table shows the capacity factor and inputs that go into the calculation of the capacity factor for each company/utility and year they have data. This is intended to show the inputs contextually to the insights from the app to determine if sudden changes are representative of a change in generation or the reported nameplate capacity (such as the opening of a new plant, or the closure of one).
The reported Capacity Factor by Utility can be visually calculated by taking the Utility Generation (MWh) divided by the Utility Nameplate Capacity (MWh).
The table view gives the full breadth of data available focusing on capacity factor at the plant, state, and company/utility level. The table allows users to more narrowly investigate particular plants and the capacity factor taking into account more nuanced dimensions that companies/utilities operate in.
There are a number of filters that impact the table. They are split into three categories focusing on particular aspects of the electric generation industry.
Plant Meta Filters impact what particular plant you wish to see such as by company, state, year, or the actual name of the plant. The dashboard defaults to the latest year reported in the dataset.
Plant Type Filters will narrow the selection by the characteristics of the plant such as the energy source category, energy source subset code, and which sector the plant belongs to (such as an industrial CHP or an Independent Power Producer).
Plant Special Status are boolean values representing special categories of plants, like whether a plant is a wholesale exemption or whether the plant is classified as being under a small producer. Most of these are Yes/No selection barring the “Regulatory Status” filter where RE/NE is Regulated/Non-Regulated. The app defaults to showing all plants no matter these special filters.
These filters all impact each other so selecting a choice in one will narrow the choices in all the filters.
This one-row table summarizes the data represented in the main table at the bottom of the screen for quick reference.
This table represents all the data available in the application. Data can be rolled up to the state or utility level, but defaults to show the capacity factor of each plant in the dataset. Data can be rolled up by moving your cursor over a company or state. This will yield a small box-icon with a “-”. Clicking this will roll the data to show the sum of the plants reported by the company, or reported in the state if the state is selected to be rolled up.
Similarly, rolling the data back down requires moving the cursor onto the row. This will yield a small box-icon with a “+”. Clicking this will expand the records to include the states and/or plants under it.
The benchmark view focuses on comparing companies against other companies.
The filters are slightly different in that there are two company filters. The Main Company(ies) filter impacts the navy-blue line in the benchmarking chart, while the Peer Company(ies) filter impacts the gray bar in the same chart. This allows users to compare one company or series of companies against another. The filter defaults to a record called “CONTROL(Must include).” This record must be included in the selection of the companies for the visual to work, and can be treated like a company, though this record contains no data that will impact the data visualized.
The data represented can be further modified using the “energy source category” and the ‘regulatory status” filters.
This visual takes two companies or series of companies and compares them against each other. As explained above, the two company filters each uniquely impact the visual. The Main Company(ies) line is set in-front of the gray Peer Company(ies) bar. The data is calculated similarly to the capacity factor calculation shown earlier in this documentation. What is different is that this data is calculated by taking the total sum of the generation for each company included in the main/peer benchmarking group, divided by the sum of the nameplate MWh of the same groups. Adding or taking away a company from the group will subsequently adjust the number.
These two visuals are the same data represented in the benchmarking visual, but instead show the capacity factor of each company selected in the main/peer groups. For example, the image in this section of the dashboard shows a series of operating companies from Entergy and Duke. Entergy in the benchmarking visual is represented in the navy blue line, but each company selected is also shown in the Capacity Factor by Main Company(ies) visual at the bottom-left of the screen. Similarly, Duke as a whole is the gray bar in the benchmark, but each duke entity is visualized separately in the visual at the bottom-right of the screen.
There are several ways in which the dataset can be exported. A visual export of the dataset via PDF or PowerPoint can be generated via the export button at the top-right corner of the dataset. Data can be exported via each card on the dataset. To export card data, move your cursor over the card/table and another export button will appear at the top right of the card/table. The data will export into a csv file in a long-table format.
An additional feature is the expand details icon on each card. Hovering your cursor over a card/table will show the expand details icon . The expand details icon will give you a screen as seen below.
Once you click on the expand details icon, a screen will pop up giving you a few options to interact with that particular card. You can click on the export button at the top right of the popup to export the visualization either in a visual format or data table (CSV or Excel). Clicking the table icon at the top right of the popup will show you the data feeding into the visualization.
Hopefully this article gave you all the information you needed to be successful with the Plant & Utility Capacity Factor App. If you still need help, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.