Karn Generating Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Dan E. Karn Generating Plant is a 544.0-megawatt (MW) coal-, gas-, and oil-fired power station owned and operated by Consumers Energy near Essexville, Michigan.


The power station is located at 2742 N. Weadock Highway in Essexville, Michigan. Pictured below are both the Karn and Weadock plants, both of which belong to CMS.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Consumers Energy Company
  • Parent Company: CMS Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 544.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1 (A+B): 272.0 MW (1959), Unit 2 (A+B): 272.0 MW (1961)
  • Location: 2742 North Weadock Hwy., Essexville, MI 48732
  • GPS Coordinates: 43.642089, -83.838188
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal), North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Energy)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: All units are scheduled for retirement on May 2023.[2][3]

Unit Retirement

The plant's two coal-fired units are planned for retirement in 2023. Consumers Energy plans to replace that power through wind energy, as part of the utility's pledge to eliminate the use of coal to generate electricity by 2040. Consumers will continue to operate units three and four at Karn, which run on oil and gas.[2]

In 2021, Consumers Energy proposed to close units 3 and 4 in 2023 just like units 1 and 2.[3]


The power station consists of two units that are fueled by coal and two that are fueled by oil and natural gas. The coal-fired units 1 and 2 are 272.0 MW each and were commissioned in 1959 and 1961, respectively. Units 3 and 4 are oil- and gas-fueled and were commissioned in 1957 and 1977.[4]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,261,230 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 18,410 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 4,141 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 249 lb.

Coal waste Sites

Consumers Energy cancels Karn/Weadock expansion and announces retirement of two units at Karn/Weadock complex

On December 2, 2011, Consumers Energy announced that is was cancelling the proposed 800 megawatt Karn/Weadock Generating Complex Expansion because of "reduced customer demand for electricity due to the recession and slow economic recovery, surplus generating capacity in the Midwest market, and lower natural gas prices linked to expanded shale gas supplies." In addition, the company announced that it was suspending operations by the end of 2014 at seven existing generating units, included two units at the Whiting Generating Plant, two units at the Cobb Generating Plant, and two at the Karn Weadock Generating Complex. The company reported that it began construction in November 2011 of its first wind farm, the 100 MW Lake Winds Energy Park, in Mason County. Consumers Energy is also developing the 150 MW Cross Winds Energy Park in Tuscola County.[5]

Karn and Weadock Generating Plants ranked 33nd 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.[6] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[7]

Together Karn and Weadock Generating Plants ranked 33rd on the list, with 1,171,382 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[6]

Articles and Resources


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