How to select a site for a Steam Power Plant?

A thermal power station or steam power plant is a generating station which converts the heat energy of coal combustion into electrical energy.

To achieve overall economy in power generation, the following factors should be considered while selecting a site for a thermal power plant −

Supply of Fuel (Coal)

The thermal plant should be located near the coal mines so that the transportation cost is minimum. Although, if the thermal power plant is to be installed at a place where coal is not available near the site, then care should be taken that adequate facilities exist for the transportation of coal.

Water Availability

Since in a thermal power plant, huge amount of water is required for the operation. Hence, a thermal power plant should be located near a river or canal to ensure the continuous supply of water.

Transportation Facilities

As a modern thermal power plant requires transportation of material (ex. coal) and machinery. Hence, the power plant should be well connected to the other parts of the country by rail, road, etc. so that adequate transportation facilities are available.

Type and Cost of Land

The thermal power should be located at a place where land is cheap and the further extension is possible. As in a thermal power plant, heavy equipment are to be installed, therefore the bearing capacity of the land should be adequate.

Near to the Load Centres

The thermal power plant should be located near to the centres of the load, so that the transmission cost is reduced. It is more important if DC supply system is adopted rather than AC supply system.

Distance from the Populated Area

The thermal power plant should be located at a considerable distance from the populated area. Because, a large amount of coal is burnt in a thermal power station, which produces smoke and fumes that pollute the surrounding environment and may have adverse effects on the health.

Note – All the above factors cannot be favourable at one place. In practice, a site by river side where sufficient water is available, no pollution of atmosphere occurs and coal can be transported economically, may be considered an ideal choice for the thermal power plant.