Louisa Generating Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Louisa Generating Station is a 811.9-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by MidAmerican Energy near Muscatine, Iowa.


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Plant Data

Alliant Energy Coal Exit

In 2020, Interstate Power and Light parent company, Alliant Energy set an “aspiration” to reach net-zero carbon by 2050 and eliminate all coal power plants from its fleet by 2040.[6]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 4,846,897 tons (2006), 5,136,540.92 (2008)[7]
  • SO2 Emissions: 15,397 tons (2006), 2,452.97 tons (2008)[8]
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • NOx Emissions: 4,562 tons (2006), 4,608.97 (2008)[8]
  • Mercury Emissions: 240 lb. (2005)

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Louisa

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.[9] 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.[10]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Louisa

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 30 $220,000,000
Heart attacks 47 $5,100,000
Asthma attacks 500|align="right" |$26,000
Hospital admissions 22 $510,000
Chronic bronchitis 18 $8,200,000
Asthma ER visits 32 $12,000

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

Louisa ranked 71st 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.[11] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[12]

Louisa Generating Station ranked number 71 on the list, with 382,063 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[11]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Pacificorp 10-k 2019" bkenergy.com accessed June 17,2020
  2. "Alliant Energy 10-k filing" alliantenergy.gcs.web.com, accessed June 17,2020
  3. "2017 Integrated Resource Plan, page 23" cipco.net, accessed June 2020.
  4. "EPA document" epa.gov, EPA document, page 6, accessed June 17, 2020
  5. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  6. "Wisconsin Utility Alliant Energy Pledges Net-Zero Carbon by 2050" greentechmedia.com, July 23, 2020
  7. Iowa Operating Permit Application, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  8. 8.0 8.1 Iowa Operating Permit Application, Form 5.0, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  9. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  10. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  12. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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