Powerplant Curtailments

From Open Energy Information

Water temperatures and water availability can affect the reliable operations of power plants in the United States. This site provides an overview of historical incidents where water resources have affected power plant operations in a publicly available and open access database that contains consolidated information about water-related power plant curtailment and shut down incidents.

Power plants can be affected by water resources if incoming water temperatures are too high, water discharge temperatures are too high, or if there is not enough water available to operate. Power plant impacts from water resources include curtailment of generation, plant shut downs, and requests for regulatory variances. In addition, many power plants have developed adaptation approaches to reducing the potential risks of water-related issues by investing in new technologies or developing and implementing plans to undertake during droughts or heatwaves.

This site identifies incidents of water-related power plant issues from 2000 to the present day, drawing from a variety of different datasets. Further details about these incidents can be found in the report, “Water-related power plant curtailments: An overview of incidents and contributing factors.”

This map below shows a pin for each curtailment, click on the pins to get more information.

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Purple map marker.pngCoal Red map marker.pngNuclear

This table contains detailed data on each of the curtailments. Columns can also be sorted as needed.

 SectorReasonDateResolutionDetailOpenedCooling SystemWeather EventSourceCoordinates
Curtailment: Braidwood Generation StationNuclearDischarge Water Temperature1 July 2012VarianceVariance offered to operate at 102 °F outlet1986Cooling PondDrought, heat wavehttps://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML09204038141.2500°, -88.2300°
Curtailment: YatesCoalCurtailment1 August 2000Inadequate Water Intake Volume1974RecirculatingDroughthttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/coal-plants-water-use-risks.html33.4653°, -84.9061°
Curtailment:Browns Ferry-2008NuclearDischarge Water Temperature5 August 2008ShutdownReduced output by 50%1977Once-ThroughDroughthttp://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=29&RecNum=1036434.7042°, -87.1189°
Curtailment:Browns Ferry-2010NuclearDischarge Water Temperature1 August 2010CurtailmentReduced output by 50%1977Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/power-and-water-at-risk.html#.V4fMG64htA934.7042°, -87.1189°
Curtailment:Browns Ferry-2011NuclearDischarge Water Temperature1 August 2011CurtailmentReduced output by 50%1977Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML0522/ML052200481.pdf34.7042°, -87.1189°
Curtailment:Coal CreekCoalInadequate Water Intake Volume26 March 9 JLShutdownArmy Core of Engineers had to shut off water releases at dam to reduce pressure from ice build up1979RecirculatingCold snaphttp://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/plants-along-the-river-shut-down/article_5e4b5540-2862-5aaa-9cf9-546866395419.html47.3778°, -101.1569°
Curtailment:Cumberland-2008CoalDischarge Water Temperature1 January 2008OtherBuilt extra cooling towers1973Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://ussdams.com/proceedings/2009Proc/1517-1532.pdf36.3936°, -87.6539°
Curtailment:Cumberland-2012CoalDischarge Water Temperature1 January 2012Curtailment1973Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html#.V4fNPa4htA936.3936°, -87.6539°
Curtailment:Donald C. CookNuclearAir Temperature too warm inside containment building30 July 6 JLShutdownHeat wave caused temperature greater than 120 °F inside containment building1975Once-throughHeat Wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water41.9756°, -86.5653°
Curtailment:Dresden Generating StationNuclearI/D Water Temperature29 July 2006CurtailmentReduced output1973Cooling PondDrought, heat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html#.V4fNPa4htA941.3900°, -88.2700°
Curtailment:Duane Arnold Energy CenterNuclearInadequate Water Intake Volume9 August 2012CurtailmentDregded river downstream1974RecirculatingHeat wavehttp://www.prairiestateoutdoors.com/pso/article/dead_fish_did_not_cause_powerton_shutdown42.1011°, -91.7781°
Curtailment:E D EdwardsCoalDischarge Water TemperatureAt Risk1960Once-Throughhttp://www.nrc.gov/docs/ML1531/ML15314A515.pdf40.6611°, -89.6636°
Curtailment:Edwin I HatchNuclearIntake Water TemperatureN/A1975Recirculatinghttp://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=29&RecNum=1036431.9342°, -82.3447°
Curtailment:G G AllenCoalDischarge Water Temperature12 August 2007Curtailment1957Once-ThroughDrought, heat wavehttp://www.eenews.net/stories/106000212935.1897°, -81.0122°
Curtailment:GallatinCoalDischarge Water Temperature1 January 2008CurtailmentReduced output 3%1959NoneHeat wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show36.3156°, -86.4006°
Curtailment:Gallatin 2012CoalDischarge Water Temperature1 July 2012Curtailment1959Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html36.3156°, -86.4006°
Curtailment:HammondCoalDischarge Water Temperature1 January 2007OtherUtilized portable cooling towers to discharge1954Once-ThroughHeat wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show34.2497°, -85.3447°
Curtailment:Harllee BranchCoalDischarge Water TemperatureOtherBuilt extra cooling towers1969Once-Throughhttp://www.ogj.com/articles/2000/08/drought-in-us-southeast-provokes-power-plant-cutbacks.html33.2333°, -83.3147°
Curtailment:Joliet 29CoalDischarge Water Temperature12 July 2012VarianceIL EPA granted variance to NPDES to discharge at high temperature1965Once-Throughhttps://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML10237128941.4956°, -88.1317°
Curtailment:Joliet 9CoalDischarge Water Temperature1 July 2012VarianceIL EPA granted variance to NPDES to discharge at high temperature1959Once-Throughhttps://www.wiseinternational.org/node/414941.4922°, -88.1103°
Curtailment:LaSalle Generating StationNuclearI/D Water Temperature1 January 2001OtherDeveloped Extreme Heat Implementation Plan1984Cooling Pondhttp://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/13/heat-shuts-down-a-coastal-reactor/?_php=true&_type=blogs&_r=241.2500°, -88.6600°
Curtailment:LaSalle Generating Station-2002NuclearI/D Water Temperature1 January 2002OtherFollowed Extreme Heat Implementation Plan1984Cooling Pondhttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show41.2500°, -88.6600°
Curtailment:LaSalle Generating Station-2005NuclearI/D Water Temperature1 January 2005OtherFollowed Extreme Heat Implementation Plan1984Cooling Pondhttp://www.timesfreepress.com/news/news/story/2010/aug/23/hot-river-forces-costly-cutback-tva/27261/41.2500°, -88.6600°
Curtailment:LaSalle Generating Station-2009NuclearI/D Water Temperature1 January 2009OtherFollowed Extreme Heat Implementation Plan1984Cooling Pondhttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html#.V2g-KnovZR841.2500°, -88.6600°
Curtailment:LaSalle Generating Station-2010NuclearI/D Water Temperature12 August 2010OtherFollowed Extreme Heat Implementation Plan1984Cooling Pondhttps://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML01233007041.2500°, -88.6600°
Curtailment:Laramie River StationCoalInadequate Water Intake VolumeOtherChanged to irrigation district water1981RecirculatingDroughthttp://blog.ucsusa.org/steve-clemmer/state-utility-regulators-share-concern-for-energy-water-collisions-193?_ga=1.239891395.1750629502.146350588042.1264°, -104.9242°
Curtailment:Leland OldsCoalInadequate Water Intake Volume26 March 9 JLShutdownArmy Core of Engineers had to shut off water releases at dam to reduce pressure from ice build up1966Once-throughCold snaphttp://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/plants-along-the-river-shut-down/article_5e4b5540-2862-5aaa-9cf9-546866395419.html47.2808°, -101.3211°
Curtailment:LimerickNuclearIntake Water Temperature1 January 2010CurtailmentPower output derated1986RecirculatingHeat wavehttp://www.thegazette.com/2012/08/09/palo-nuclear-plant-operator-eyeing-cedar-river-levels-cautiously40.2203°, -75.5894°
Curtailment:Martin LakeCoalInadequate Water Intake VolumeNA1977Cooling Pondhttp://www.nj.gov/dep/barnegatbay/plan-oystercreek.htm32.2606°, -94.5706°
Curtailment:MillstoneNuclearIntake Water Temperature14 August 2012ShutdownHad to shut down one of two reactors, requested future variance1975Once-ThroughDrought, heat wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show41.3358°, -72.1472°
Curtailment:MonticelloNuclearDischarge Water Temperature29 July 2006CurtailmentPower output derated1971RecirculatingHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/coal-plants-water-use-risks.html#.V7tt7q4htA945.3322°, -93.8475°
Curtailment:Oyster CreekNuclearDischarge Water Temperature9 December 2010ShutdownBest available technology for limiting environmental impacts is plant shutdown in 20191954Once-ThroughRegulatoryhttps://adamswebsearch2.nrc.gov/webSearch2/main.jsp?AccessionNumber=ML15023A45939.8464°, -74.2103°
Curtailment:PSEG Hope Creek Generating StationNuclearIntake Water Temperature1 January 2010CurtailmentPower output derated1986RecirculatingHeat wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show39.4517°, -75.5406°
Curtailment:PerryNuclearIntake Water Temperature26 July 2012CurtailmentPower output derated1987RecirculatingHeat wavehttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show41.8006°, -81.1439°
Curtailment:PilgrimNuclearIntake Water Temperature20 July 2013CurtailmentCurtailment until source water was under 75 °F1972Once-ThroughHeat wavehttps://www.wiseinternational.org/node/414941.9417°, -70.5833°
Curtailment:PowertonCoalIntake Water Temperature10 July 2012ShutdownPower output derated, unit eventually shutdown1972Cooling PondHeat wavehttps://www.wiseinternational.org/node/414940.5378°, -89.6819°
Curtailment:Prairie IslandNuclearIntake Water Temperature29 July 2006CurtailmentPower output derated1974Once-ThroughHeat wavehttps://news.google.com/newspapers?id=I_1MAAAAIBAJ&sjid=nDMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6778,1606811&hl=en44.6219°, -92.6314°
Curtailment:Quad Cities Generating StationNuclearDischarge Water Temperature29 July 2006CurtailmentPower output derated1972Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html#.V4fNPa4htA941.7200°, -90.3100°
Curtailment:RiverbendCoalDischarge Water Temperature12 August 2007Curtailment1929Once-ThroughDrought, heat wavehttp://www3.illinois.gov/PressReleases/ShowPressRelease.cfm?SubjectID=29&RecNum=1036435.3600°, -80.9742°
Curtailment:Turkey PointNuclearDischarge Water Temperature20 July 2014VarianceUpper limit set to 103 °F from 100 °F, treated canal for algae growthCooling PondAbove average temperatureshttp://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2013/07/f2/20130716-Energy Sector Vulnerabilities Report.pdf25.4356°, -80.3308°
Curtailment:Vermont YankeeNuclearInadequate Water Intake Volume12 July 2012CurtailmentPower output derated1972Once-ThroughDroughthttps://insideclimatenews.org/news/20120815/nuclear-power-plants-energy-nrc-drought-weather-heat-water?page=show42.7786°, -72.5133°
Curtailment:Will CountyCoalDischarge Water Temperature5 July 2012VarianceIL EPA granted variance to NPDES to discharge at high temperature1963Once-ThroughHeat wavehttp://www.ucsusa.org/clean_energy/our-energy-choices/energy-and-water-use/water-smart-power.html#.V7txI64htA941.6403°, -88.0792°
Powerplant Curtailments