Clifty Creek Station

From Global Energy Monitor
Part of the
Global Coal Plant Tracker,
a Global Energy Monitor project.
Download full dataset
Report an error
Related coal trackers:

Clifty Creek Station is an operating power station of at least 1303-megawatts (MW) in Madison, Jefferson, Indiana, United States.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Clifty Creek Station Madison, Jefferson, Indiana, United States 38.738431, -85.419064 (exact)

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

Loading map...

Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, Unit 5, Unit 6: 38.738431, -85.419064

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1955
Unit 2 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1955
Unit 3 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1955
Unit 4 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1955
Unit 5 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1955
Unit 6 operating coal - bituminous 217.3 subcritical 1956

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]
Unit 2 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]
Unit 3 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]
Unit 4 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]
Unit 5 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]
Unit 6 Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp [100.0%]


The power station is owned by Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC). As of end-2016, the shareholders and their respective percentages of equity in OVEC are:[1]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,811,930 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 65,372 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 21,662 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 390 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Clifty Creek

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.[2] 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.[3]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Clifty Creek Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 130 $930,000,000
Heart attacks 200 $21,000,000
Asthma attacks 2,100 $110,000
Hospital admissions 93 $2,200,000
Chronic bronchitis 77 $34,000,000
Asthma ER visits 120 $46,000

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

Coal Waste Site

Clifty Creek ranked 52nd 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.[4] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[5]

Clifty Creek Station ranked number 52 on the list, with 590,808 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[4]

Citizen Activism

Valley Watch's Executive Director, John Blair, has called the Clifty Creek Station near Madison, Indiana "one of Indiana's largest, dirtiest and oldest coal fired power plants Coming on-line in 1955 to serve a single customer--the now defunct uranium enrichment facility operated by the U.S Department of Energy in Portsmouth, Ohio- Clifty Creek today is nothing more than an incredibly old and dirty "merchant" plant."[6]

In 2003 Valley called for a comprehensive study on the environmental and health effects of the plant in the area. In 2007 the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) asked the EPA to add 16 additional sites to its Coal Combustion Waste Damage Assessment list. Included in EIP's report was Clifty Creek, which they stated that the waste from the site is polluting groundwater tables. While no lawsuits have yet to be filed Clifty Creek is the 52nd most polluting coal waste site in the nation. Even so, scrubbers are set to be installed at the facility by the end of 2010.[7] Valley Watch and others have argued that this will only prolong the life of the plant and not address carbon dioxide emissions or coal waste problems.

On July 11, 2008, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down (vacated in its entirety) the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR). The court ruled that CAIR would not require individual states to reduce emissions but rather focused on regional emissions reductions goals and cap and trade, conflicting with the requirements for clear results of the Clean Air Act. Construction that had begun on scrubbers at Clifty was ended.[8]

On July 24, 2010, the Clifty plant was shut down after a boiler tube failed unexpectedly and steam leaked out of it. No one was injured. Although the failure was in tubing for just one of the six boilers, all were shut down for inspection. There is no estimate of when the power plant will begin fully operating again.[9]

Blair has said the entire plant should be retired since it does not serve as baseload power by any of its owners. Plant owners say the closure will not have an impact on electricity availability for any of the companies that own the plant or their customers.[9]

Ohio HB 6 and coal subsidies

In May 2019 the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 6 (HB6) which beginning in January 2020 levied a fee of roughly 58 cents per bill for residential customers and 85 cents per 1,000 kilowatt-hour for commercial and industrial customers. Revenues from these fees are being used to subsidize Clifty Creek and another coal-fired plant, Kyger Creek Station in Ohio.[10] Shortly after the passage of HB6 FirstEnergy also announced that it would delay the planned retirement of its coal-fired Sammis Plant in Stratton, Ohio.[11]

In July 2020 Ohio Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four associates were arrested and charged with coordinating a $60 million bribery scheme with FirstEnergy, in return for which Householder included a bailout for two FirstEnergy nuclear power plants as part of HB6.[12] In August 2020 the Ohio legislature began considering several bills that would partially or completely repeal HB6.[13]

In August 2022, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio revealed that subsidies for the two loss-making plants, the Clifty Creek Station and the Kyger Creek Station, had cost Ohioans $173 million since 2020.[14] In March 2023, a memo to the Ohio Manufacturers Association by energy consultancy Runner Stone estimated the subsidies from HB6 and the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio for the two coal plants had cost electricity consumers US$400 million since 2017 and could amount to US$845 million by 2030.[15]

In June 2023, it was reported that fifty members of the Ohio state legislature had co-sponsored a bill to repeal HB6. The new bill would end the coal plant subsidy and require Ohio Valley Electric Corporation (OVEC) to repay the estimated US$400 million in subsidies paid to date.[16] At the same time, filings by the utility companies indicated that they planned to resume collecting subsidies from customers in July 2023, after pausing the charges for the last year.[17]

Later in June 2023, Ohio Republican leadership reportedly voted to block the new bipartisan bill repealing subsidies for the coal plants.[18]

In December 2023, a federal grand jury indicted the former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), Sam Randazzo, on 11 counts of alleged bribery and embezzlement. Randazzo allegedly received a $4.3 million bribe from FirstEnergy in return for helping the utility company advance its policy priorities, including HB6.[19]

According to reporting from March 2024, an email released as part of the legal case over the bribery scandal revealed that American Electric Power, which owns a portion of OVEC, insisted on including coal plant subsidies in HB6.[20]

According to reporting from April 2024, the Citizens Utility Board of Ohio has urged the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio to require the owners of Clifty Creek Station and Kyger Creek Station to refund US$100 million in subsidies provided under the provisions of HB6. Consumer advocates said that OVEC ran the coal plants all the time rather than just when costs were lower than market prices, and that electricity customers should not have paid subsidies when the plants were run at a loss.[21]

In May 2024, the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio opened a request for auditors to review subsidies paid to OVEC between 2021 and 2023 for Clifty Creek Station and Kyger Creek Station.[22]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Annual Report 2016, Ohio Valley Electric Corporation, 2016
  2. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  3. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  4. 4.0 4.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  5. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  6. "Comprehensive review sought on Clifty Creek power plant," The Bloomington Alternative, January 12, 2003.
  7. [ "Comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Coal Combustion Waste Damage Case Assessment,"] Environmental Integrity Project, July 2007.
  8. "DC Circuit Court of Appeals kills CAIR rule" American Coal Council, July 16, 2008.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Peggy Vlerebome, "Steam leak shuts power plant" Madison Courier, July 20, 2010.
  10. There’s a lot of important stuff in Ohio House Bill 6 besides the nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sep. 15, 2020
  11. David Roberts, Ohio just passed the worst energy bill of the 21st century, Vox, Jul. 27, 2019
  12. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60M bribery case related to HB6 nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jul. 21, 2020
  13. Capitol Insider: Ohio Senate likely to repeal HB 6 before Election Day, Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 23, 2020
  14. Coal plant subsidies from pay-for-play legislation have cost Ohioans $173 million, Ohio Capital Journal, Aug. 28, 2022
  15. "House Bill 6's Legacy: Utility Power Plant Subsidies Poised to Cost Ohioans Millions More," Runner Stone, March 24, 2023
  16. "Ohio lawmakers going over House Speaker’s head to repeal coal plant subsidies in corruption-linked HB 6," News 5 Cleveland, June 5, 2023
  17. "HB 6 coal plant charges mount up again in Ohio," Energy News Network, June 7, 2023
  18. "House leadership protects scandal-ridden House Bill 6, blocking repeal effort," News 5 Cleveland, June 20, 2023
  19. "Sam Randazzo, Ohio’s former top utilities regulator, charged with bribery, embezzlement crimes,", December 5, 2023
  20. "HB 6 updates: Emails reveal what Ohio utility execs thought about money-losing coal plants," Ohio Capital Journal, March 14, 2024
  21. "Consumer advocates want $100 million returned after funds went to two Ohio coal-burning plants," WOSU, April 8, 2024
  22. "State to audit House Bill 6 coal-plant subsidies permitted from 2021 to 2023," WOSU Public Media, May 1, 2024

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.