Birchwood Power Facility

From Global Energy Monitor

Birchwood Power Facility is a retired 258.3-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station in King George, Virginia. The coal plant was co-owned and operated by J-POWER and General Electric.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Birchwood Power Partners
  • Parent Company: J-POWER(49.5% stake)[1] and General Electric
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 258.3 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 258.3 MW (1996)
  • Location: 10900 Birchwood Dr., King George, VA 22485
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.265423, -77.314233
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Zigmond Processing Facility (Alpha Coal)[2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: The plant's sole coal-fired unit, Unit 1, retired on March 1, 2021.[3]

Unit Retirement

On February 24, 2020, it was reported that the power plant will retire in February 2021 due to its inability to compete with lower-cost electricity produced by natural gas and renewable energy.[4]

According to PJM deactivations, the power plant retired on March 1, 2021.[3]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 0 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Birchwood Power Facility

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.[5] 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.[6]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Birchwood Power Facility

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 7 $53,000,000
Heart attacks 12 $1,300,000
Asthma attacks 120 $6,000
Hospital admissions 6 $130,000
Chronic bronchitis 4 $2,000,000
Asthma ER visits 6 $2,000

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

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Articles and Resources


  1. Electric Power Development Co., "Fact Book: 2008", Electric Power Development Co., October 2008, page 12.
  2. "EIA 923 2019" EIA 923 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Generation Deactivations", accessed April 9, 2021.
  4. "King George Coal-Fired Power Plant To Close In 2021: Report,", Feb 24, 2020
  5. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  6. "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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