Jim Bridger Steam Plant
Jim Bridger Steam Plant is a 2,441.9-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by PacifiCorp near Point of Rocks, Wyoming.
- Owner: PacifiCorp (67%), Idaho Power (33%)
- Parent Company: MidAmerican Energy (owned by Berkshire Hathaway)
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,441.9 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 608.3 MW (1974), Unit 2: 617.0 MW (1975), Unit 3: 608.3 MW (1976), Unit 4: 608.3 MW (1979)
- Location: 9 miles north of Point of Rocks, WY 82942
- GPS Coordinates: 41.737522, -108.787292
- Technology: Subcritical
- Coal type: Sub-bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: Jim Bridger Mine (MidAmerican Energy), Black Butte/Leucite Hills Mine (Kiewit), Bridger Underground Coal Mine (MidAmerican Energy)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: Unit 1 is scheduled for retirement at the end of 2023, Unit 2 is scheduled for retirement at the end of 2028. Units 3-4 are planned for closure in 2037.
According to PacifiCorp's July 2019 draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), Units 1 and 2 are scheduled for retirement at the end of 2028 and 2032 respectively. In a separate update of the economic analysis of the coal fleet, PacifiCorp stated that both units 1 and 2 were identified as being less economic to operate beyond 2022 than alternatives, making them candidates for earlier retirement.
Pressure for Cleaner Energy from PacifiCorp
On Jan. 18, 2007, the Oregon Public Utility Commission argued that PacifiCorp had failed to demonstrate a need for new coal-fired facilities in Wyoming and Utah. On June 7, PacifiCorp, based in Oregon, announced plans to build 1200 miles of transmission lines to connect the proposed plant to customers in three other states. The power produced at the Jim Bridger facility is primarily exported to the Northwest to supply power.
On Nov. 28, 2007, PacifiCorp notified the Utah Public Service Commission that it was no longer pursuing this project, due to “the time frame and the uncertainty around coal, based on climate change issues.” Ultimately, PacifiCorp is concerned about potential for clean energy projects in the quest to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 15,884,734 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 20,055 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 28,054 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 388 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Jim Bridger Steam 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 Jim Bridger Steam Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||33||$12,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
- Powder River Basin Resource Council
- Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter
- Wyoming Conservation Voters
- Wyoming Conservation Voters Education Fund
- Wyoming Outdoor Council
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
- Wyoming and coal
- MidAmerican Energy
- Berkshire Hathaway
- United States and coal
- Global warming
- "Pacificorp 10-k 2019" bkenergy.com accessed June 17,2020
- "Idaho Power executive says company on glide path away from coal" ieefa.org, Fabruary 11, 2019
- "Thermal" idohapower.com, accessed June 17, 2020
- "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
- "PacifiCorp to add 7 GW renewables + storage, close 20 of 24 coal plants," Utility Dive, Oct 3, 2019
- Smith, Caleb Michael (2019-10-04). "PacifiCorp outlines phased closure of Jim Bridger Power Plant". rocketminer.com. Retrieved 2020-10-14.
- 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Stakeholder Conference Call, PacifiCorp, July 18, 2019]
- "PacifiCorp updates economic analysis of coal fleet," PacifiCorp, April 25, 2019
- Expansion Planned at Bridger Power Plant, Casper Star-Tribune, December 4, 2006.
- Western Resource Advocates website, accessed January 2008.
- PacifiCorp Announces Plant to Build 1,200 Miles of New Transmission Lines, Columbia Basin Energy Report, May 31, 2007.
- PacifiCorp Cancels Wyoming Coal Projects, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle, December 11, 2007.
- "PacifiCorp labels coal a no-go for new plant," Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian, December 7, 2007
- "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