A. B. Brown power station

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A.B. Brown power station is a 706.4-megawatt (MW) (530.4 MW coal-fired, 176 MW gas-fired) power station near Mount Vernon, Indiana.


The power station is located on the northern bank of Ohio river, 8 miles east of Mount Vernon and 5 miles southwest of Evansville in Indiana, just west of the Posey-Vanderburgh County Line.

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Project Details

  • Owner: CenterPoint Energy Inc[1] (see also Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company)
  • Parent Company: CenterPoint Energy Inc[2][3] (see also Vectren)
  • Location: 8511 Welborn Rd., Mount Vernon, IN 47620
  • Coordinates: 37.905731, -87.715324 (exact)[4][5]
  • Gross generating capacity (operating): 706 MW
    • Unit 1: Coal-fired, 265.2 MW (start-up in 1979, retiring in 2023)[6]
    • Unit 2: Coal-fired, 265.2 MW (start-up in 1986, retiring in 2023)[6]
    • Unit 4: Gas-fired gas turbine, 88 MW (start-up in 1991)[6]
    • Unit 5: Gas-fired gas turbine, 88 MW (start-up in 2002)[6]
  • Gross generating capacity (pre-construction): 460 MW
    • Unit 7: Gas-fired[7] gas turbine[7], 230 MW[7] (start-up in 2024)[1]
    • Unit 8: Gas-fired[7] gas turbine[7], 230 MW[7] (start-up in 2024)[1]
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Both units are planned to retire by 2023.[8]

Unit Retirement

In November 2016, owner Vectren said it would retire the coal plant in 2023.[9]

The utility, formerly known as Vectren in Indiana and Ohio before being bought by Texas-based CenterPoint, also announced its intention to close coal units and add more natural gas and renewable generation in an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) filed in June 2020.[8]

CenterPoint is planning to close the power plant and replace it with two natural gas-fueled turbines totaling 460 MW, in addition to a mix of solar and wind. energy.[10] The gas turbines have the ability to burn 5-10% hydrogen with the possibility of reaching 30% hydrogen with proper modifications. A 2021 petition noted that future plans for the plant are to reach 100% hydrogen, possibly by partnering with the CenterPoint Indiana South solar project.


The A. B. Brown power station is a four-unit, 700-MW power generating facility, located near Mount Vernon, Indiana.[11] Each of the two coal-fired units has a name-plate capacity of 265.2 megawatts (MW), commissioned from 1979 to 1986. Bituminous coal is used as a primary fuel type, which can be substituted for natural gas.[12] There are also two gas turbine units, 88.2 MW of nameplate capacity each. The facility was owned by Vectren (formerly Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company) before the purchase by CenterPoint.[13][8]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,566,580 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 8,956 tons
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 4,883 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 145 lb.

The following table gives more info on this plant's SO2 emissions levels, as well as on whatever SO2 emissions "scrubbers" (Flue Gas Desulfurization units, or FGDs) have been installed at the plant. Each of the plant's units is listed separately, and at the bottom overall data for the plant is listed.[14][15]

Unit # Year Built Capacity MWh Produced (2005) SO2 Emissions (2005) SO2 Emissions per MWh (2005) Average Annual Coal Sulfur Content FGD Unit Type FGD In-Service Year FGD SO2 Removal Efficiency
1 1979 265 MW 1,739,539 MWh 5,993 tons 6.89 lb./MWh 2.83% spray tower 1979 87.2%
2 1986 265 MW 1,784,064 MWh 3,045 tons 3.41 lb./MWh 2.82% spray tower 1986 92.4%
Total 530 MW 3,523,603 MWh 9,039 tons 5.13 lb./MWh

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from A.B. Brown

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.[16] 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.[17]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from A. B. Brown Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 19 $140,000,000
Heart attacks 28 $3,100,000
Asthma attacks 310 $16,000
Hospital admissions 13 $310,000
Chronic bronchitis 11 $5,000,000
Asthma ER visits 19 $7,000

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

A. B. Brown ranked 39th 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.[18] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[19]

Wabash River Generating Station ranked number 39 on the list, with 944,944 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[18]

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 CenterPoint files application for $323 million natural gas turbine facility in Posey Co., 14 News, Jun 18, 2021
  2. Investor Relations, CenterPoint Energy, accessed Sep 9, 2021
  3. Company History, CenterPoint Energy, accessed Sep 9, 2021
  4. A. B. Brown Generating Station, Wikipedia, Aug 27, 2021
  5. A.B.Brown Power Plant, Google Maps, accessed Sep 9, 2021
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 "EIA 860m March 2020" eia.gov, 860m March 2020
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 CenterPoint to ask for OK to replace A.B. Brown plant, customer rate hike to cover cost, Courier & Press, Jun 23, 2021
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 "New Gas-Fired Units Would Replace Coal at Indiana Plant," Power Mag, June 28, 2021
  9. John Russell, "Vectren plans to retire most coal-burning units, shift mix of power sources," Indiana Business Journal, November 30, 2016
  10. "CenterPoint expects to ask to recover A.B. Brown closing costs from ratepayers soon". Courier & Press. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  11. "Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company". Statement by a Holding Company Claiming Exemption, Form U-3A-2. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. 1996-02-29. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  12. "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  13. White, Beth (2006-05-30). "Vectren considers installing new pollution control equipment at AB Brown Power Plant". Channel 14 News. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  14. Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
  15. EIA-767, Energy Information Administration, 2005.
  16. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  17. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  18. 18.0 18.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  19. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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