Base, Intermediate, Peaking Plants Not all power plants are the same, either in purpose or in how they are operated. In the electric utility industry, there are three main types of power plants, categorized according to the functions they perform. These are called “base,” “intermediate” and “peaking” facilities. In serving its Member Systems, Oglethorpe Power maintains a fleet of generating plants that includes all three types of plants. Electric utilities really need all three types of generating plants to make sure that they can adequately meet the needs of their customers. In recent years, utilities have constructed many peaking facilities to meet the growing demand for power primarily during those peak hours such as on hot summer afternoons. Most base plants operating today were built in the 1970s and 1980s and have provided reliable electricity throughout the period.
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From top: Plant Scherer; Chattachoochee Energy Facility, Talbot Energy Facility
Intermediate plants run less often than base, but still operate much of the time.
Peaking plants usually run only when customers are using high amounts of electricity.