Huntley power station

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Huntley power station is a retired power station in Tonawanda, Emery, New York, United States. It is also known as C.R. Huntley Generating Station.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Huntley power station Tonawanda, Emery, New York, United States 42.9709444, -78.9312861 (exact)

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

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 63, Unit 64, Unit 65, Unit 66, Unit 67, Unit 68: 42.9709444, -78.9312861

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 63 retired coal - unknown 80 subcritical 1942 2006
Unit 64 retired coal - unknown 100 subcritical 1948 2006
Unit 65 retired coal - unknown 100 subcritical 1953 2007
Unit 66 retired coal - unknown 100 subcritical 1954 2007
Unit 67 retired coal - bituminous 200 subcritical 1957 2016
Unit 68 retired coal - bituminous 200 subcritical 1958 2016

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 63 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]
Unit 64 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]
Unit 65 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]
Unit 66 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]
Unit 67 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]
Unit 68 NRG Energy Inc [100.0%]

Unit Retirements

The first four units, built in the 1940-50s, were retired in 2006-7.[1] The last two units, built in 1957-8, were retired on March 1, 2016.[2]

Community opposition and retirement

In 2013 the Clean Air Coalition of Western New York and the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis initiated a community-wide process to explore how Tonawanda could continue to meet its energy needs without coal, once the aging plant retires. The group has opposed any new subsidies for Huntley.[3]

In August 2015, NRG Energy submitted a plan to the NY Public Service Commission to retire the facility on March 1, 2016. Company officials cited economic factors, especially low natural gas prices. According to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), Huntley's pretax earnings dropped by $113 million between 2008 and 2012, and the plant was most recently showing an average annual loss of $1 million. NRG disputed the figures.[4]

Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant proposed

The New York Public Authority (NYPA) accepted a proposal by NRG Energy for an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle plant in Tonawanda, New York to replace two existing plants at the Huntley power station. The plant would burn Eastern coal and petroleum coke.[5]

It would be modeled after a coal gasification plant in Japan that was built by Mitsubishi and recently began operating. The plant was conditional on cost, and construction was expected to begin in 2008 contingent on the success of the Mitsubishi plant; the potentially high cost of construction and operation may derail the project.[6]

The plant was conditionally approved by Gov. Pataki in Dec. 2006, two weeks before he left office. In Dec. 2007, the Buffalo Building & Construction Trades Council – a local labor umbrella group – announced a construction agreement with NRG, and threw their weight behind the project.[7]

As of March 2008, NRG Energy was facing a $430 million shortfall for the estimated $1.5 billion construction and was considering applying for financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy under a program that funds carbon capture and sequestration projects.[5]

In July 2008, the NYPA cancelled the plant, citing the approximately $150 million in subsidies per year the plant would require in order to operate effectively.[8]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,301,283 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 12,299 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 3,265 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 167 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Huntley power station

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.[9] 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.[10]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Huntley power station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 15 $110,000,000
Heart attacks 26 $2,800,000
Asthma attacks 230 $12,000
Hospital admissions 12 $270,000
Chronic bronchitis 9 $4,000,000
Asthma ER visits 11 $4,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' US EIA, 2014
  2. "Settlement reached on new assessment of Huntley property," Buffalo News, Aug 9, 2016
  3. "In Western New York, an Instructive Tale of Two Coal-Fired Plants," IEEFA, May 15, 2015
  4. T.J. Pignataro, "Tonawanda braces for end of Huntley era," Buffalo News, 25 August 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed July 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  6. “Power Plant Costs May Zap Hopes for Jobs", Buffalo News, December 2, 2007. (This is a preview of the article. The full article must be purchased from the news archives.)
  7. “News from the Buffalo Building Trades", New WNY Politics, December 7, 2007.
  8. "Failed plant casts doubt on 'clean coal'", Crains New York Business, July 16, 2008.
  9. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  10. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

Additional data

To access additional data, including an interactive map of coal-fired power stations, a downloadable dataset, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.