Laramie River Station
Laramie River Station is a 1,710.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Basin Electric Power Cooperative near Wheatland, Wyoming.
- Owner: Basin Electric Power Cooperative 42.27%, Tri-State Generation and Transmission 27.13%, Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency 16.47%, Lincoln Electric Systems 10.5%, Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska 1.67%, Wyoming Municipal Power Agency 1.37%, unspecified municipalities and co-ops 0.59%
- Parent Company: Basin Electric Power Cooperative, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, Missouri River Energy Services (WMMPA)
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,710.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 570.0 MW (1971), Unit 2: 570.0 MW (1971), Unit 3: 570.0 MW (1972)
- Location: 347 Grayrocks Rd., Wheatland, WY 82201
- GPS Coordinates: 42.109034, -104.881371
- Technology: Subcritical
- Coal type: Sub Bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody), Antelope Coal Mine (Navajo), Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal), Dry Fork Mine (Western Fuels)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements:
The plant ownership percentages are reported by the owners as a percentage of the total generation capacity:
In 2018, Tri-State Generation and Transmission bought a 3% interest in the plant from the Heartland Consumers Power District representing 52 MW capacity from unit 1. Tri-State exchanged the right for this capacity with Basin Electric for capacity from units 2 and 3. This because the units are connected to different interconnections and units 2 and 3 are connected with the region that Tri-State serves.
Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska bought a 1.67% interest of total capacity consisting of 1.77% of unit 1 capacity and 1.64% of units 2 and 3, or 28 MW total. Around 0.6% interest of the plant with 10 MW of capacity from units 2 and 3 were sold to a number of unspecified small municipalities and co-ops.
Unit 1 is connected to the Eastern Interconnection and supplies its power to Western Minnesota Municipal Power Agency (281MW), Lincoln Electric Systems (178MW), Basin Electric Power Cooperative (100MW) and Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (9MW).
Unit 2 and Unit 3 are connected to the Western Interconnection and supply power to Basin Electric Power Cooperative (624MW), Tri-State Generation and Transmission (464MW), Wyoming Municipal Power Agency (23MW), Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (19MW) and other small owners (10MW).
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 15,248,626 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 11,539 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 19,781 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 650 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Laramie River 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. 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 Laramie River Station
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||18||$7,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
Coal waste Sites
2011: Laramie fourth highest in U.S. toxic power plant emissions
A 2011 joint report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), EarthJustice, and the Sierra Club rated the top power plants for toxic power plant emissions. Some of the chemicals used to rank the states’ emission status included chromium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. In terms of sheer pounds of emissions of the four toxic heavy metals, Laramie ranked fourth highest in the nation.
Laramie River ranked 56th 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.
Laramie River Station ranked number 56 on the list, with 541,970 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.
- Powder River Basin Resource Council
- Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter
- Wyoming Conservation Voters
- Wyoming Conservation Voters Education Fund
- Wyoming Outdoor Council
Articles and Resources
- "2019 Annual Report, page 19" basinelectric.com, accessed June 2020
- "Tri State 2019 Form 10-k, page 38/39" tristategt.org, accessed July 2020
- "WMMPA Projects" mrenergy.com, accessed July 9, 2020
- "Generation Resources" les.com, accessed June 2020.
- "MEAN financial Statement 2019-2020" nmppenergy.org, accessed June 17, 2020
- "wmpa generation" wmpa.org, accessed June 2020
- "Inventory of Electric Utility Power Plants in the United States 2000" EIA.gov, accessed July 9, 2020
- "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020
- "Tri-State Generation Transmission boosts interest in Laramie River power station" S&P Global.com, September 27, 2018
- "Basin Electric Power Cooperative 2018 - WAPA" wapa.gov, accessed July 9, 2020
- "Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska, page 26" munios.com, accessed July 9, 2020
- "Heartland Consumers Power District" gdsassociates.com, accessed July 9, 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
- "Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas are Top States in Terms of Toxic Power Plant Air Pollution" EIP, December 7, 2011.
- 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.
- 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
- Basin Electric Power Cooperative
- United States and coal
- Global warming