The purpose of this study is to analyze comparatively the performance of nine thermal power plants under control governmental bodies in Turkey, from energetic and exergetic viewpoint. The considered power plants are mostly conventional reheat steam power plant fed by low quality coal. Firstly, thermodynamic models of the plants are developed based on first and second law of thermodynamics. Secondly, some energetic simulation results of the developed models are compared with the design values of the power plants in order to demonstrate the reliability. Thirdly, design point performance analyses based on energetic and exergetic performance criteria such as thermal efficiency, exergy efficiency, exergy loss, exergetic performance coefficient are performed for all considered plants in order to make comprehensive evaluations. Finally, by means of these analyses, the main sources of thermodynamic inefficiencies as well as reasonable comparison of each plant to others are identified and discussed. As a result, the outcomes of this study can provide a basis used for plant performance improvement for the considered coal-fired thermal power plants. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.