Brandon Shores Generating Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Brandon Shores Generating Station is a 1,370.2-megawatts (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Talen Energy near Curtis Bay, Maryland.


The plant is located on Fort Smallwood Road north of Orchard Beach in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, near Glen Burnie. It shares a 483-acre (195 ha) site adjacent to the Patapsco River with the Herbert Wagner Generating Station.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Talen Energy[1]
  • Parent Company: Riverstone Holdings
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,370.2 megawatts (MW)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 685.1 MW (1984), Unit 2: 685.1 MW (1991)
  • Location: 1000 Brandon Shores Rd., Curtis Bay, MD 21226
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.180833, -76.53033
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Bailey Mine (Consol)[2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Conversions: Both units will stop using coal by the end of 2025 and repower pending approval by state agencies.[3]
  • Unit Retirements:


The plant was originally constructed by a predecessor company of Constellation Energy, which was later purchased by Exelon in 2012. On August 9, 2012, Exelon announced that it had reached an agreement, subject to regulatory approvals, for the sale of the Crane Generating Station, Brandon Shores Generating Station, and Herbert Wagner Generating Station to Raven Power Holdings LLC, a newly formed portfolio company of Riverstone Holdings LLC, for approximately US$400 million. Exelon committed to divest the plants as condition for regulatory approval of its merger with Constellation Energy to alleviate concerns regarding potential market power in the regional wholesale electricity market.[4]

Talen Energy assumed ownership of the plant on June 1, 2015, under Riverstone Holdings, LLC.[5]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,094,442 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 40,467 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 11,964 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 640 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Brandon Shores

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.[6] 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.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Brandon Shores Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 31 $220,000,000
Heart attacks 52 $5,700,000
Asthma attacks 490 $26,000
Hospital admissions 24 $560,000
Chronic bronchitis 19 $8,300,000
Asthma ER visits 22 $8,000

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

Brandon Shores second highest in annual air toxin emissions

According to a July 2011 NRDC report, "How Power Plants Contaminate Our Air and States" Brandon Shores released the second highest amount of toxic air pollutants annually - 13.1 million pounds - of any plant in the nation, based on data from the EPA’s Toxic Release Inventory (2009 data, accessed June 2011).

Pollution controls

The state’s nurses association commissioned a study that found that, in 2006, emissions from Brandon Shores caused 700 deaths per year nationwide, including 100 in Maryland. In 2010, Constellation completed an $885 million pollution control installation at its units, to comply with Maryland law and in anticipation of the EPA's Transport Rule.[8]

Articles and Resources

  1. "Our Locations", accessed June 2020
  2. "EIA 923 January 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  3. "Talen Energy Announces Transformational Move Toward a Sustainable, ESG-Focused Future", November 10, 2020
  4. Exelon (Aug 9, 2012). "Exelon Agrees to Sell Three Maryland Coal Plants to Raven Power Holdings LLC". Press release. Retrieved on 2012-08-13.
  5. Corporation, Talen Energy. "Talen Energy Debuts as One of the Largest Independent Power Producers in U.S." Retrieved 2016-06-15.
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  8. Matthew Wald, "A Coal-Fired Plant That Is Eager for U.S. Rules" NY Times, January 5, 2012.


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