Ames Municipal Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Ames Municipal Power Plant is an operating power station of at least 71-megawatts (MW) in Ames, Story, Iowa, United States with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as Ames (Ia) power station.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Ames Municipal Power Plant Ames, Story, Iowa, United States 42.025383, -93.607897 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 7, Unit 8: 42.025383, -93.607897
  • Unit 8: 42.0258, -93.6089

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit 7 retired coal - subbituminous 37.5 subcritical 1968 2016
Unit 8 retired coal - subbituminous 71.3 subcritical 1982 2016
Unit 8 operating[1] gas, bioenergy - unknown[2] 71[1] steam turbine[1] no[1] 2016[1][3]

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Unit 7 City of Ames - (IA) [100.0%]
Unit 8 City of Ames - (IA) [100.0%]
Unit 8 City of Ames - (IA)[4] City of Ames - (IA) [100.0%]

Coal-to-Gas Conversion

The power plant was converted from using coal to natural gas as fuel. The plant stopped burning coal on April 24, 2016, and is now fully running on natural gas.[5] A 37.5 MW Unit 7 was converted to gas and is operational as well.[6] The unit doesn't meet the inclusion criteria of Global Energy Monitor.[7]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 719,216 tons (2005), 653673.72 tons (2008)[8]
  • SO2 Emissions: 1,235 tons (2005), 1183.7 (2008)[9]
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 4.86 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 1,380 tons (2005), 1129.13 (2008)[9]
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ames Municipal Power Plant

In 2010, Abt Associates issued a study commissioned by the Clean Air Task Force, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, quantifying the deaths and other health effects attributable to fine particle pollution from coal-fired power plants.[10] Fine particle pollution consists of a complex mixture of soot, heavy metals, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides. Among these particles, the most dangerous are those less than 2.5 microns in diameter, which are so tiny that they can evade the lung's natural defenses, enter the bloodstream, and be transported to vital organs. Impacts are especially severe among the elderly, children, and those with respiratory disease. The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, and pneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal plant emissions. These deaths and illnesses are major examples of coal's external costs, i.e. uncompensated harms inflicted upon the public at large. Low-income and minority populations are disproportionately impacted as well, due to the tendency of companies to avoid locating power plants upwind of affluent communities. To monetize the health impact of fine particle pollution from each coal plant, Abt assigned a value of $7,300,000 to each 2010 mortality, based on a range of government and private studies. Valuations of illnesses ranged from $52 for an asthma episode to $440,000 for a case of chronic bronchitis.[11]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ames Municipal Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 2 $14,000,000
Heart attacks 3 $330,000
Asthma attacks 32 $2,000
Hospital admissions 1 $33,000
Chronic bronchitis 1 $530,000
Asthma ER visits 2 <$1,000

Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed April 2011

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (November 2019)". Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  2. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (July 2021)". Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  3. Archived from the original on 09 July 2022. {{cite web}}: Check date values in: |archive-date= (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Form EIA-860 detailed data with previous form data (EIA-860A/860B), 2018". Archived from the original on November 16, 2019. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  5. "City officials celebrate move to natural gas," Ames tribune, May 20, 2016
  6. "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (based on Form EIA-860M as a supplement to Form EIA-860) - U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA)". Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  7. "Methodology". Global Energy Monitor.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Iowa Operating Permit Application, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  9. 9.0 9.1 [1]Iowa Operating Permit Application, Form 5.0, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  10. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  11. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.