Coleman Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Kenneth C. Coleman Station was a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Big Rivers Electric Corporation near Hawesville in Hancock County, Kentucky.

In May 2014 Big Rivers deactivated the Coleman coal plant. The move came after the plant’s two largest customers, aluminum smelters owned and operated by Century Aluminum Co., terminated a long-term power supply agreement with Big Rivers and started buying less expensive electricity off the wholesale power market. Big Rivers is trying to sell the plant while retaining the possibility of restarting the plant in a few years. The co-op is also is evaluating a possible conversion of Coleman to natural gas.[1]

In February 2017, FERC denied Big River’s request to keep Coleman connected to the Midwest Independent System (MISO) and denied a rehearing on the issue in December 2017.[2]

The plant remained standing until 2021 when demolition began.[3] However, the scrubber is being saved and relocated to the Wilson Station in Centertown, Kentucky.

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Plant Data

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,404,057 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 10,899 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 5,320 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 110 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Coleman 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.[7] 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 Coleman Station. 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.[8]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Coleman Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 52 $380,000
Heart attacks 77 $8,400,000
Asthma attacks 850 $44,000
Hospital admissions 37 $860,000
Chronic bronchitis 31 $14,000,000
Asthma ER visits 52 $19,000

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

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Articles and Resources


  1. "Big Rivers Gets Extra Year to Install Pollution Controls," Coal Age, 16 March 2015
  2. Renee Beasley Jones, "FERC denies Big Rivers' rehearing request for Coleman plant," The Messenger-Inquirer, Dec 13, 2017
  3. "Big Rivers' Kenneth C. Coleman power plant is being dismantled". The Hancock Clarion. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  4. Energy Information Administration Form 923 for 2009
  5. "Idling of Two Coal-Fired Plants Will Cost Jobs". POWER Magazine. 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  6. "Dismantling begins on Kenneth Coleman power plant". Eyewitness News (WEHT/WTVW). 2021-03-22. Retrieved 2021-08-25.
  7. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  8. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

External resources

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