Avon Lake power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Avon Lake power station was a 766.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station near Avon Lake, Ohio.


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station at 33570 Lake Rd. in Avon Lake, Ohio.

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Project Details

  • Owner: GenOn Energy
  • Parent Company: GenOn Holdings
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 766.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 7: 86.0 MW (1949), Unit 9: 680.0 MW (1970)
  • Location: 33570 Lake Rd., Avon Lake, OH 44012
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.504192, -82.054457
  • Technology: Supercritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: West Elk Mine (Arch Coal), Belle Ayr Mine (Bluegrass Commodities), Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 7 retired in 2016. Unit 9 was scheduled for retirement in September 2021. However, GenOn subsequently extended the closure to April 2022.[2] The plant was shut down on April 4, 2022, and the property transferred to a company that will remediate and redevelop the site.[3]


Announced in 1924, the Avon Lake power station was built from March 1925 to July 1926 at a cost of approximately US$30 million. By 1950, the Avon Lake power station reportedly processed 4,000 tons of coal a day. Unit 7 was commissioned in 1949 and unit 9 in 1970. In 2011, the EPA determined that the Avon Lake power plant was guilty of excessive ozone emissions, and cited plant owner GenOn.[4]

On February 29, 2012, GenOn Energy said it will close seven of its coal generating stations by 2015, citing impending environmental regulations. This included Avon Lake, with a proposed closure date of April 2015.[5]

However, NRG acquired GenOn in December 2012, and in January 2013 said it would convert the Avon Lake facility to natural gas instead. However, due to delays in rule changes to the plant's PJM grid, NRG analysts determined in 2015 that the best strategy for the company was to stay with coal as the fuel. The plant's two coal units (7 and 9) were scheduled for deactivation by April 2015, but will continue to operate under a Mercury and Air Toxics (MATS) extension granted by the Ohio EPA.[6]

Unit 7 (86 MW) was retired in April 2016. Unit 9 (680 MW) was then still operating.[7]

In July 2017 NRG said it will spin off GenOn, which will no longer be part of NRG. GenOn will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy and, when it emerges from bankruptcy, it will be a stand-alone entity. GenOn will then decide what to do with the Avon coal plant. However, NRG said the Avon plant would remain open for at least three years based on a contract the utility has with PJM that runs to 2020.[8]

Since 2013, NRG has sought to reduce the taxes it pays on the 92-year-old plant as a way for the utility to save money. The county and school district has fought those reductions, and lost. A settlement was reached in September 2017.[9]

In 2018 GenOn emerged from bankruptcy and re-acquired Avon Lake Unit 9 from NRG Energy.[10]

Unit 9 retired in April 2022.[3]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,602,440 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 43,479 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 6,310 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 322 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Avon Lake power station

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.[11] 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.[12]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Avon Lake power station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 29 $210,000,000
Heart attacks 47 $5,100,000
Asthma attacks 440 $23,000
Hospital admissions 21 $500,000
Chronic bronchitis 17 $7,400,000
Asthma ER visits 23 $9,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 February 2022" EIA 923 2022.
  2. "Avon Lake power station closure now set for April 2022". Crain's Cleveland Business. 2021-08-04. Retrieved 2021-09-14.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Charah Solutions Completes Full Acquisition of Avon Lake Generating Station from GenOn for Sustainable Environmental Remediation and Redevelopment of Property". finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2022-04-06.
  4. Matt Sisson, “Avon Lake Power Plant,” Cleveland Historical, accessed October 26, 2017
  5. "GenOn Looking to Cut Generating Capacity … Shawville Plant in the Crosshairs," GantDaily.com, Feb. 29, 2012.
  6. Richard Payerchin, "NRG to keep coal, jobs at Avon Lake power plant," The Morning Journal, 09/18/2015
  7. Sierra Club list of US coal plant retirements, Oct. 5, 2016
  8. Michele Murphy, "NRG reorganization lets GenOn determine future of Avon Lake power," 2presspapers, Sep 7, 2017
  9. Michele Murphy, "Lorain County Auditor, NRG negotiate settlement over Avon Lake power plant taxes," 2presspapers, Sep 19, 2017
  10. "Our Locations," GenOn, accessed April 2019
  11. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  12. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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