Baldwin Energy Station

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Baldwin Energy Station is an operating power station of at least 1259-megawatts (MW) in Baldwin, Randolph, Illinois, United States with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Baldwin Energy Station Baldwin, Randolph, Illinois, United States 38.204531, -89.855978 (exact)

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

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 3, Unit 1, Unit 2: 38.204531, -89.855978

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 3 retired coal - subbituminous 634.5 subcritical 1975 2019
Unit 1 operating coal - subbituminous 625.1 subcritical 1970 2025 (planned)
Unit 2 operating coal - subbituminous 634.5 subcritical 1973 2025 (planned)

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 3 Dynegy Midwest Generation Inc [100.0%]
Unit 1 Dynegy Midwest Generation Inc [100.0%]
Unit 2 Dynegy Midwest Generation Inc [100.0%]


In May 2016, plant owner Dynegy (now Vistra Energy) said it plans to cease operations at units 1 and 3 of its Baldwin Power Station over the next year. The company attributed the shutdowns on the failure to recover the plants' "basic operating costs" in the most recent MISO (Midcontinent Independent System Operator) electricity auction.[1]

Unit 3 was mothballed in October 2016. That month plant owner Dynegy (now Vistra Energy) said that Unit 1, which was scheduled to go offline on March 31, 2017, will retire in September 2018. Unit 2 will continue operating.[2] The EIA 860M (November 2018) states unit 3 is "Out of service and NOT expected to return to service in next calendar year."[3]

In September 2020, Vistra Energy said the power station would fully retire by the end of 2025.[4][5]


On April 9, 2018, Texas-based Vistra Energy, the parent company for TXU Energy and Luminant, announced it had completed its merger with Dynegy. Vistra Energy will be the name of the combined company moving forward.[6]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 12,826,618 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 28,985 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 16,413 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 500 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Baldwin Energy 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.[7] 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.[8]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Baldwin Energy Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 56 $410,000,000
Heart attacks 86 $9,400,000
Asthma attacks 940 $49,000
Hospital admissions 40 $930,000
Chronic bronchitis 34 $15,000,000
Asthma ER visits 60 $22,000

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

Coal Waste Site

Baldwin ranked 31st on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[9] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[10]

Baldwin Energy Station ranked number 31 on the list, with 1,324,467 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[9]

Illinois Power Company and Dynegy Midwest Generation EPA Settlement

On March 7, 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA along with the State of Illinois announced a settlement between Illinois Power Company and its sucesscor, Dynegy, addressing alleged violations of New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act at company's Baldwin Energy Station. The EPA noted that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at the plant will decrease by 54,000 tons each year through the installation of approximately $500 million worth of new pollution control equipment. In addition to the Baldwin Generating Station, the Havana Power Station, Hennepin Power Station and Vermilion Power Station, Wood River Station were involved in the settlement.

The EPA stated that this "settlement requires installation of four new flue gas desulfurization devices (scrubbers) to control SO2; four new baghouses to control particulate matter (soot); and operation of existing control equipment, including three selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, year-round to control NOx. The entire five-plant system will be subject to annual emission caps to assure that significant system-wide reductions for both SO2 and NOx are achieved."[11]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Dynegy to shutter Illinois coal plants," St Louis Business Journal, May 4, 2016
  2. "Dynegy delays mothballing Unit 1 at Baldwin," Herald Tribune, Oct 12, 2016
  3. 860M: Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, EIA, November 2018
  4. "Sierra Club Calls for State Transition Planning as Vistra Announces Coal Retirements in Illinois, Ohio". Sierra Club. 2020-09-29. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  5. "Vistra to retire 6.8 GW coal, blaming 'irreparably dysfunctional MISO market", September 30, 2020
  6. "Vistra / Dynegy Merger," Vistra Energy website, accessed August 2018
  7. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  8. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  10. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  11. "U.S. Announces Settlement of Illinois Power Case - Company will spend $500 million to reduce air pollution by over 54,000 tons per year," U.S. EPA, March 7, 2005

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.