here is ur answer ^↓^
the most of the thermal power plants are set near coal or oil mines because they need the coal or oil as fuels for the extraction of thermal energy.
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I hope it willl help you to understand
simple answer... to reduce transport cost of coal and oil as well as production cost... as u know these are world wide mostly used raw materials to generate electricity
Reduction of transportation cost.
Thermal power plants require water to be converted into steam , so they need some fuel to be burnt to convert water to steam thus they need coal or oil as a fuel ,transportation cost can be minimized if they are located near coal and oil fields.