Dolet Hills power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Dolet Hills power station was a 720.7-megawatt (MW) lignite coal-fired power station operated by Cleco near Mansfield, Louisiana.


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Project Details

  • Owner: Cleco 50%[1], Southwestern Electric Power known as SWEPCO 40.2%[2], North Texas Electic Coop 5.86%[3], Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority 3.94%[4]
  • Parent Company: Cleco , American Electric Power (Swepco)
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 720.7 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 720.7 MW (1986)
  • Location: 963 Power Plant Rd., Mansfield, LA 71052
  • GPS Coordinates: 32.041264, -93.566833
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Lignite
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Dolet Hills Mine (Dolet Hills Lignite)[5]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: The plant retired on December 31, 2021,[6][7] ahead of original plans.[8][9]

Plant Retirement

On Janaury 10 of 2020 it was reported that SWEPCO would file for regulatory approval before closing its coal-fired Dolet Hills power station by the end of 2026. The proposed closure is part of an agreement with the Sierra Club which will withdraw its legal challenges over Dolet Hills.[9]

S&P global reported on May 13, 2020 that Cleco and Swepco could retire the plant before the end of 2021, five years ahead of schedule. On May 12, Cleco filed its 10-Q form that stated that in April the utility announced its intent to seek regulatory approval to retire the Dolet Hills power station at the end of 2021, subject to recovery mechanisms. The decision was made because the Dolet Hills Lignite Co had determined that they would not proceed with developing additional mining areas for future lignite extraction. Dolet Hills Lignite Co provided all the lignite to the power plant.[8]

In November 2021, Cleco and SWEPCO expected to retire Dolet Hills on December 31, 2021 as part of their efforts to reduce costs. Since 2019, the facility had operated seasonally. In 2021, the plant ended seasonal operations in October and took its last coal delivery that month, Cleco said.[7]

Reduced Runtime

In January 2019, Cleco agreed to immediately reduce the operation of the Dolet Hills coal plant to operate only in the summer months.[10]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 5,594,656 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 20,908 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 10,891 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 235 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Dolet Hills 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.[11] 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.[12]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Dolet Hills power station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 10 $73,000,000
Heart attacks 15 $1,600,000
Asthma attacks 170 $9,000
Hospital admissions 7 $170,000
Chronic bronchitis 6 $2,700,000
Asthma ER visits 11 $4,000

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

Coal waste Sites

Dolet Hills ranked 86th 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.[13] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[14]

Dolet Hills ranked number 86 on the list, with 291,208 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[13]

Coal Ash Waste and Water Contamination

In August 2010 a study released by the Environmental Integrity Project, the Sierra Club and Earthjustice reported that Louisiana, along with 34 states, had significant groundwater contamination from coal ash that is not currently regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The report, in an attempt to pressure the EPA to regulate coal ash, noted that most states do not monitor drinking water contamination levels near waste disposal sites.[15] The report mentioned Louisiana based Big Cajun II Power Plant, Dolet Hills Power Station and the Rodemacher Power Station were three sites that have groundwater contamination due to coal ash waste.[16]

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. "Cleco power 10-k 2019, page 9" accessed July 2020
  2. "SWEPCO to Seek Regulatory Approval to Retire Dolet Hills Power Plant by End of 2026", January 9, 2020
  3. "Our Resources", accessed July 2020
  4. "Power Supply", accessed July 2020
  5. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  6. "Amount of US generation capacity retired declines for 2nd consecutive year". Retrieved 2022-03-16.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Cleco, SWEPCO to close Louisiana coal plant early," Argus Media, November 1, 2021
  8. 8.0 8.1 "SWEPCO, Cleco eye 2021 retirement of Dolet Hills coal plant in Louisiana" S&P Global, May 13, 2020
  9. 9.0 9.1 "SWEPCO seeking regulatory approval to close lignite-fueled Dolet Hills Power Station", January 10, 2020
  10. "Sierra Club Secures Cleco Commitment to Replace Uneconomic Coal-Burning Generation and build Clean Energy," Sierra Club, January 16, 2019
  11. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  12. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  14. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  15. "Study of coal ash sites finds extensive water contamination" Renee Schoff, Miami Herald, August 26, 2010.
  16. "Enviro groups: ND, SD coal ash polluting water" Associated Press, August 24, 2010.

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