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Quiz: Know Your Power Plants

March 3, 2015 - 11:14am


Know Your Power Plants

This quiz will test your knowledge of electricity generation in the U.S. Each map shows existing U.S. power plants for a specific fuel source, scaled by the plant's production capacity. See if you can guess the energy source by how it's distributed across the country!

Your Score:

We're actually impressed. It's like you were guessing the wrong answer on purpose.

We're not going to say that you could have done better. But you could have done better.

Great job! With your energy smarts, maybe you could one day be the Secretary of Energy!

Flawless victory. We're impressed by how you nailed that jet fuel question.

A few weeks ago, the Energy Information Administration released new data on generators and power plants around the country. While the data doesn't capture every power plant in the United States, it shows all plants with a combined capacity greater than 1 megawatt, which is pretty comprehensive.

We have used this information in the past to understand the exciting growth in our wind and solar industries over the last few years. With new data, we are able to not only visualize those two industries, but we can also map out the rest of our nation's diverse energy offerings and see some interesting patterns in regional variation.

We thought that it would be fun to test your knowledge of the United States' energy sector. Each of the maps above show the active power plants from an energy source like natural gas, solar, coal or petroleum. Each plant is scaled in size by its cumulative capacity, so larger circles represent larger power plants.

If you want to cheat, you can check out our recent map showing cumulative energy production in each state, broken down by energy source. But beware, some energy sources are produced in one state and consumed in another state, so there may be some misleading results. Good luck!