C.D. McIntosh power station

From Global Energy Monitor

C.D. McIntosh power station is an operating power station of at least 514-megawatts (MW) in Lakeland, Polk, Florida, United States with multiple units, some of which are not currently operating. It is also known as C D McIntosh Jr power station.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
C.D. McIntosh power station Lakeland, Polk, Florida, United States 28.0802, -81.9226 (exact)

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

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 3: 28.0802444, -81.9226083
  • Unit 5CC: 28.0801, -81.9229
  • Unit GT2: 28.0801, -81.9229
  • Unit ST2: 28.0801, -81.9229

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit 3 retired coal - bituminous 364 MW subcritical - - 2021
Unit 5CC operating[1] gas, coal[2] 384 MW[1] combined cycle[1] no[1] - -
Unit GT2 operating[2] gas, fuel oil[2] 130 MW[2] gas turbine[1] no[1] - -
Unit ST2 retired[2] gas, fuel oil[2] 126 MW[1] steam turbine[1] no[1] - 2020[2]

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner Parent
Unit 3 City of Lakeland - (FL) [60.00%]; Orlando Utilities Commission [40.00%] City of Lakeland - (FL) [60.00%]; Orlando Utilities Commission [40.00%]
Unit 5CC City of Lakeland - (FL) City of Lakeland - (FL)
Unit GT2 City of Lakeland - (FL) City of Lakeland - (FL)
Unit ST2 City of Lakeland - (FL) City of Lakeland - (FL)

Project-level coal details

  • Coal source: Jad coal dayhoit tipple mine; air quality mine; alpha natural resources creech 1 mine


Unit Retirement

In May 2019, Lakeland’s city council approved a plan by Lakeland Electric to retire the plant by 2024.[5]

In January 2021, Lakeland commissioners unanimously approved Lakeland Electric’s plan to begin decommissioning the McIntosh plant on March 31, 2021 – three years ahead of the prior timeframe of Fall 2024. According to Joel Ivy, Lakeland Electric’s general manager, the utility had recently spent significant money fixing various issues with Unit 3, causing the coal plant to be frequently offline. Lakeland Electric has estimated it can save US$13.1 million by decommissioning the plant early.[6]

McIntosh’s final operating Unit 3 was decommissioned in 2021. The municipal utility had previously spent more than US$5 million to fix issues with Unit 3 in the past year, resulting in several outages, according to reports. Sargent & Lundy was selected to handle engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) management of a planned 120-MW gas-fired reciprocating internal combustion engine (RICE) power plant at the site. The RICE project was scheduled for commercial operation by late 2023.[7]

The power plant currently operates fully on natural gas.

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,713,961 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 6,129 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 5,221 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 91 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the McIntosh Power Plant

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.[8] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the McIntosh Power 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.[9]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the McIntosh Power Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 5 $38,000,000
Heart attacks 7 $770,000
Asthma attacks 75 $4,000
Hospital admissions 4 $90,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,300,000
Asthma ER visits 5 $2,000

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

Coal Ash Waste

Report on Water Contamination

In August 2010, a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice, "In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment," reported that Florida had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash.[10][11]The report identified 39 coal combustion waste (CCW) disposal sites in 21 states that have contaminated groundwater or surface water with toxic metals and other pollutants, including McIntosh, based on monitoring data and other information available in state agency files. The report built on an earlier 2010 report by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice, "Out of Control: Mounting Damages from Coal Ash Waste Sites", which documented similar damage at another 31 coal combustion waste dumpsites in 14 states. When added to the 67 damage cases that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has already acknowledged, the total number of sites polluted by coal ash or coal scrubber sludge comes to at least 137 in 34 states.

The report found that the coal ash site for the McIntosh Power Plant contained arsenic, cadmium, lead, selenium, and nitrates at levels above the Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL). In 2010, MCL for arsenic was exceeded in 15 wells. The plant is near Lake Parker, which is densely populated and used recreationally.[12]

State regulations versus federal

As of November 2011, the McIntosh Power Plant has a mound of more than 100,000 tons of fly ash. If the EPA were to label the ash a hazardous waste under federal regulation, the new classification would mean updating the protections at existing plant landfills to ensure security against groundwater contamination. Because much of Florida has absorbent soil and high groundwater levels, Lakeland and other cities said they would likely have to ship the ash out of state to the nearest approved landfill - which is in Emelle, Alabama, which is already home to the nation's largest hazardous waste landfill. If Lakeland had paid for the service in fiscal year 2010, it would have been about $5 million, according to data provided by the city. Statewide, energy officials estimated a price tag of up to $312 million.

In 2005, the city began selling a large portion of the ash to firms connected to the construction industry, for use in concrete. The business quickly became lucrative for the city, bringing in more than $1 million in revenue in fiscal year 2008 and reducing the size of the city's storage problem. Then, the housing market collapsed, slashing those earnings in the following years by as much as 94 percent. In fiscal year 2010, the city made only $60,347, even though records show it sold more ash than ever, due to falling demand and costs. Still, the state said that they are worried that under federal regulations, they would not be able to sell the ash for use in industrial and consumer production.[13]

Other coal waste sites

To see a nationwide list of over 350 coal waste sites in the United States, click here. To see a listing of coal waste sites in a particular state, click on the map:

<us_map redirect=":Category:Existing coal waste sites in {state}"></us_map>

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (November 2019)". Archived from the original on June 12, 2020. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "U.S. Energy Information Administration, Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory (July 2021)". Archived from the original on November 22, 2021. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  3. "2019 financials" ouc.com, accessed October 18, 2020
  4. "Lakeland Strategic Resource Plan, page 37" lakelandelectric.com, accesses October 19, 2020
  5. Kevin Spear, "Coal power plant in Lakeland, owned by OUC and Lakeland Electric, to be retired," Orlando Sentinel, May 8, 2019
  6. "Florida city gives final approval to close 360MW McIntosh Unit 3 coal plant". Institute for Energy Economics & Financial Analysis. 2021-01-22. Retrieved 2021-02-09.
  7. "Lakeland Electric selects S&L to lead EPCM work on 120-MW RICE project to replace coal-fired plant in Florida," Power Engineering, October 12, 2021
  8. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  9. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  10. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  11. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.
  12. Jeff Stant, "In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment," EarthJustice, Environmental Integrity Project, and Sierra Club report, August 26, 2010.
  13. Chase Purdy, "Lakeland Officials Nervous About Financial Fallout From Fly Ash Pile" The Ledger, Nov. 13, 2011.

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.