Ben French Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Ben French Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by the Black Hills Corporation near Rapid City, South Dakota.

On August 7, 2012 it was reported that Black Hills Inc. was planning to close two of its older coal plants as well as one coal unit.

Colorado Electric, Black Hills Power subsidiary, stated that they will suspend operations at a coal-fired unit at the Ben French Power Plant in Rapid City, S.D. by August 31, 2012, and retire the plant in March 2014. The company also plans to retire plants near Gillette and Wyoming's Osage Power Plant, in March 2014.[1]

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Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Company: Black Hills Corporation
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 25.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 25.0 MW (1961)
  • Location: 409 Deadwood Ave., Rapid City, SD 57702
  • GPS Coordinates: 44.087698, -103.262027
  • Electricity Production: 152,534 MWh (2005)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 220,670 tons (2006)
  • SO2 Emissions: 786 tons (2002)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 10.31 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 967 tons (2002)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ben French

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.[2] 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.[3]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ben French

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 2 $15,000,000
Heart attacks 3 $330,000
Asthma attacks 35 $2,000
Hospital admissions 1 $34,000
Chronic bronchitis 1 $560,000
Asthma ER visits 2 <$1,000

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

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