Conesville Power Plant
Conesville Power Plant was a 2,174.8-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by American Electric Power near Conesville, Ohio.
- Owner: Columbus Southern Power Company
- Parent Company: American Electric Power
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,174.8 megawatts (MW)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 148.0 MW (1959), Unit 2: 136.0 MW (1957), Unit 3: 161.5 MW (1962), Unit 4: 841.5 MW (1973), Unit 5: 443.9 MW (1976), Unit 6: 443.9 MW (1978)
- Location: 47201 County Rd. 273, Conesville, OH 43811
- GPS Coordinates: 40.184872, -81.879300
- Technology: Units 3, 5 and 6 : Subcritical, Unit 4 : Supercritical, Units 1 and 2 : unstated.
- Coal type: Bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: Snyder Mine (CCU Coal), Rice #7 Mine (CCU Coal), Conesville Coal Preperation (CCU Coal)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: Units 1 and 2 retired in 2005, Unit 3 retired in 2012, Units 5 and 6 retired in May 2019 and Unit 4 in May 2020
Units 1 and 2 were retired in 2005 after Unit 1's tubing to its boiler failed. Inspections on Unit 2 revealed severe corrosion in a pattern that was similar to Unit 1. The reported cost of $35 million to repair both units was not worth the benefit of returning to service.
On June 9, 2011, AEP announced that, based on impending EPA regulations as proposed, AEP’s compliance plan would retire nearly 6,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled power generation. Conesville Unit 3 (165 MW) would be retired by Dec. 31, 2012, and Units 5 and 6 (800 MW total) would continue operating with retrofits.
Units 5 and 6 were originally slated to close down in 2022, but in 2018 the company said market conditions could lead to their mothballing as early as May 2019. Units 5 and 6 retired on May 31, 2019 while Unit 4 will remain in operation until May 2020.
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 9,459,016 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 90,540 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 17,861 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 984 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Conesville 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. 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.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Conesville Power Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||36||$13,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
Coal Waste Sites
Conesville ranked 64th 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. The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.
Conesville Power Plant ranked number 64 on the list, with 447,846 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
Study finds dangerous level of hexavalent chromium at Ohio coal waste site
A report released by EarthJustice and the Sierra Club in early February 2011 stated that there are many health threats associated with a toxic cancer-causing chemical found in coal ash waste called hexavalent chromium. The report specifically cited 29 sites in 17 states where the contamination was found. The information was gathered from existing EPA data on coal ash and included locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin. In Ohio, the Conesville Power Plant in Coshocon County and Industrial Excess Landfill in Uniontown were reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into groundwater.
According to the report, the Conesville Power Plant coal ash site is a landfill. Hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) was reported at the site at 100 ppb (parts per billion) - 5,000 times the proposed California drinking water goals and above the federal drinking water standard.
As a press release about the report read:
- Hexavalent chromium first made headlines after Erin Brockovich sued Pacific Gas & Electric because of poisoned drinking water from hexavalent chromium. Now new information indicates that the chemical has readily leaked from coal ash sites across the U.S. This is likely the tip of the iceberg because most coal ash dump sites are not adequately monitored.
According to the report, the electric power industry is the leading source of chromium and chromium compounds released into the environment, representing 24 percent of releases by all industries in 2009.
Articles and Resources
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Environmental Integrity Project, "Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants", July 2007.
- Facility Registry System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed Jan. 2009.
Related SourceWatch Articles
- Existing U.S. Coal Plants
- Ohio and coal
- American Electric Power
- United States and coal
- Global warming
- "EIA 923 January 2020" EIA 923 2020.
- "2 units at AEP Conesville plant to be shuttered". Columbus Business First. October 3, 2005. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- "Conesville Power Plant Began Operating in 1958". Coshocton Tribune. August 20, 1961. p. 9. Retrieved June 26, 2018 – via https://www.newspapers.com/.
- "AEP would shutter 5 coal plants to meet EPA rules" Coal Tattoo, June 9, 2011.
- "AEP Shutting 3 of 4 Units At Tanners Creek" Eagle Country Online, June 10, 2011.
- Dickerson, Kathie; Whiteman, Doug (June 10, 2011). "AEP may close six sites". Coshocton Tribune. p. 1A. Retrieved June 20, 2018 – via https://www.newspapers.com/.
- Dickerson, Kathie (January 13, 2013). "Conesville plant labeled as a top-5 metal polluter". Coshocton Tribune. p. 3A. Retrieved June 20, 2018 – via https://www.newspapers.com/.
- "AEP to shutter 1,590 MW Ohio coal plant two years ahead of schedule," Utility Dive, Oct 10, 2018
- Sweeney, Darren (May 13, 2019). "AEP to retire 750 MW of coal capacity at Conesville plant". S&P Global Market Intelligence. Retrieved May 31, 2019.
- Hayhurst, Leonard (2020-04-30). "AEP Conesville reaches end of coal-burning era". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2020-05-01.
- "American Electric Power takes last unit at Conesville coal plant offline IEEFA.org May 1, 2020
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
- TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
- "EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash" Earthjustice & Sierra Club, February 1, 2011.
- "Damage Case Report for Coal Combustion Wastes," August 2008
- U.S. EPA Proposed Coal Ash Rule, 75 Fed. Reg. 35128
- EarthJustice, Environmental Integrity Project, and Sierra Club, "In Harm's Way: Lack of Federal Coal Ash Regulations Endangers Americans and their Environment," August 2010
- EarthJustice and Environmental Integrity Project, "Out of Control: Mounting Damages from Coal Ash Waste Sites," May 2010
- "Coal ash waste tied to cancer-causing chemicals in water supplies" Alicia Bayer, Examiner.com, February 1, 2011.