Base Load

Base Load Power Plant Picture The utility must generally supply some minimum power level or base load 24 hours per day every day of the year. Industrial plants, hospitals, and even residential customers with their refrigerators all contribute to this base load.

The generating plants that are the most economical to operate are used to supply this base load. These base load plants are usually large steam generating plants that cannot be started and stopped quickly. Since these are some of the least costly plants to operate, they are usually loaded or dispatched close to their maximum power level.