Dave Johnston Power Plant

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Dave Johnston Power Plant is an operating power station of at least 816-megawatts (MW) in Glenrock, Converse, Wyoming, United States.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
Dave Johnston Power Plant Glenrock, Converse, Wyoming, United States 42.839072, -105.777397 (exact)

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

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4: 42.839072, -105.777397

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - subbituminous 113.6 subcritical 1959 2028 (planned)
Unit 2 operating coal - subbituminous 113.6 subcritical 1961 2028 (planned)
Unit 3 operating coal - subbituminous 229.5 subcritical 1964 2027 (planned)
Unit 4 operating coal - subbituminous 360 subcritical 1972 2039 (planned)

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 PacifiCorp [100.0%]
Unit 2 PacifiCorp [100.0%]
Unit 3 PacifiCorp [100.0%]
Unit 4 PacifiCorp [100.0%]

Retirement discussions

According to the company's 2019 Integrated Resource Plan, the plant's four units are planned for retirement in 2027.[1][2]

In their 2023 Integrated Resource Plan, PacifiCorp revised their projected retirement dates for the power station: Units 1 and 2 were expected to retire in 2028, and Unit 4 was expected to retire in 2039.[3]

Carbon capture interest

In January 2021, several companies interested in making money through carbon capture – including Jupiter Oxygen and Glenrock Petroleum – were taking steps to set up shop at the plant. Jupiter Oxygen completed its feasibility study and were in the process of developing a front-end engineering and design study for carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) looking at one of the units. Glenrock Petroleum expressed interest publicly in purchasing the plant and in equipping its largest power-producing unit with CCUS technology. The company was working on its own feasibility study, according to the plant owner.[4]

Carbon Capture and Storage surcharge

In January 2023, the Wyoming Public Service Commission approved an application from Rocky Mountain Power for a 0.3% "carbon capture compliance" surcharge on its customers starting in February 2023. The surcharge would be applied under the provisions of a 2020 law requiring coal plants to be retrofitted with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology as an alternative to closing. PacifiCorp was reportedly collecting bids from developers to potentially retrofit one of the units at the Dave Johnston power plant.[5]

Nuclear considerations

In 2021, the site was considered for an experimental project along with three other towns: Gillette, Kemmerer, and Rock Springs.[6] However, TerraPower chose Kemmerer, Wyoming, as the site where the company would build its first demonstration nuclear power plant.[7]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 7,708,348 tons [8]
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 19,980 tons [9]
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 16,457 tons [10]
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 223 pounds [11]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Dave Johnston 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.[12] 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.[13]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Dave Johnston Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 32 $230,000,000
Heart attacks 49 $5,400,000
Asthma attacks 570 $30,000
Hospital admissions 22 $530,000
Chronic bronchitis 20 $9,100,000
Asthma ER visits 31 $11,000

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

Citizen groups

Toxic Waste Data

Environmental Protection Agency Toxic Release Inventory: Dave Johnston Power Plant[14]

  • Chromium Waste: 22,083 pounds
    • Air Release: 293 pounds
    • Land Release (Landfill/Sludge): 21,790 pounds
  • Dioxin Waste: .3255 grams
    • Air Release: .3255 pounds
  • Lead Waste: 11,723.1 pounds
    • Air Release: 221 pounds
    • Land Release (Landfill/Sludge/Reuse): 11,501.1 pounds
  • Nickel Waste: 21,199 pounds
    • Air Release: 296 pounds
    • Land Release (Landfill/Sludge): 20,903 pounds

Coal ash at Dave Johnston Power Plant

According to a 2007 risk assessment report released by the EPA, Wyoming has 17 coal ponds at 5 coal-fired power plant sites. Of these ponds, 11 are over 30 years in age and 4 are over 40 years old. Additionally, four surface impoundments and landfills were reported as being unlined, and two that were clay-lined.

The history of coal ash releases in Wyoming are as follow:

  • 55,000 cubic yards of fly ash spilled from a pond at the Naughton Power Plant
  • In January 2009, 14,400 gallons of coal ash processing water overflowed the canal at a coal ash pond at the Dave Johnston Power Plant
  • Seepage occurred at the Bridger Power Station, where 10,000 gallons of coal ash was released per month, which was then pumped back into the pond[15]

Accidents and Negligence

  • December 20, 1995 [16]
    • A high-pressure steam line ruptured in one of the coal burners, killing two employees and severely burning another.

Litigation and Controversy

  • January 10, 1997 [17]
    • The EPA ruled against PacifiCorp, citing that the company’s emissions levels at nine of their plants nation-wide exceed limits set in place to decrease acid rain
    • These nine plants exceeded their nitrogen oxide limits, the main cause of acid rain.
    • PacifiCorp must spend $20 million over the next four years to control to comply with the EPA’s targets.

Articles and Resources


  1. "2019 IRP Public Input Meeting," pacificorp.com, accessed 13 October 2020
  2. Thuermer, Angus M. (2019-10-03). "PacifiCorp details early Bridger, Naughton coal closures". WyoFile. Retrieved 2020-10-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. "2023 Integrated Resource Plan," PacifiCorp, March 31, 2023
  4. "Carbon Capture Firms Pursue Power Plant Set To Retire, Though Doubt Remains," Wyoming Public Radio, January 15, 2021
  5. "Ratepayers to foot $2M bill for coal-power mandate," Wyofile, January 3, 2023
  6. "Some in Glenrock eager to land experimental nuclear plant," AP News, July 11, 2021
  7. "Bill Gates’ TerraPower aims to build its first advanced nuclear reactor in a coal town in Wyoming," CNBC, November 17, 2021
  8. "Carbon Monitoring for Action: Dave Johnston Plant Data". Center for Global Development.
  9. "Criteria Air Pollutants: Dave Johnston Plant Data". Environmental Protection Agency.
  10. "Criteria Air Pollutants: Dave Johnston Plant Data". Environmental Protection Agency.
  11. Environmental Protection Angecy. "Toxic Release Data: Dave Johnston Plant Data". Right to Know Network.
  12. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  13. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  14. Toxic Release Inventory: Dave Johnston Plant Data, Environmental Protection Agency, reporting year 2022
  15. "Wyoming Coal Ash Factsheet" Earthjustice, accessed November 16. 2011.
  16. Environmental Protection Agency (Dec 20, 2005). "2 Die in Accident at Wyoming Power Plant". The Deseret News.
  17. Steve Law (Jan 10, 1997). "Pacificorp Must Retrofit Coal Plants to Reduce Acid Rain". Portland Business Journal.

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.