New Power Plant Database Offers Local Stories for New Energy Era

December 16, 2015

Electric power is often news for environmental journalists. A new database from the Energy Information Administration offers a hunting ground for stories relevant to today's changing energy scene.

The data is not all new — but it's newly useful. It includes in one place information about coal-burners, gas-burners, hydropower, wind, solar, and battery storage — which allows some useful comparisons in today's climate-conscious market.

The data are online and downloadable in spreadsheet format, so journalists can build their own projects.

The "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory" data is online here, with an overview here and a query engine here.

Data-driven journalists could use the data to examine trends in a particular state, in a particular region, or nationwide. How many coal-burning power plants are left in Ohio? Texas? The database makes it easy to find out.

Because the data is downloadable, journalists can match it up with other relevant data — on things like air pollution, coal ash, hydro relicensing, or weather conditions.

SEJ Publication Types: 
Topics on the Beat: