Merom Generating Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Merom Generating Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Hoosier Energy near Sullivan, Indiana.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative
  • Parent Company: Hoosier Energy Rural Electric Cooperative
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,080 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 540 MW (1982), 540 MW (1983)
  • Location: 5500 SR 54 W, Sullivan, IN 47882
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.067889, -87.513056
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Planned retirement

In January 2020, Hoosier Energy announced their new 20 year resource plan that includes the closing of the Merom coal plant by 2023.[1] However, due to a new deal made with a cryptocurrency mining facility, the ultimate retirement of the plant is postponed.[2]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 7,064,920 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 14,847 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 7,808 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 162 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Merom

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.[3] 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Merom Generating Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 31 $230,000,000
Heart attacks 48 $5,200,000
Asthma attacks 520 $27,000
Hospital admissions 22 $520,000
Chronic bronchitis 19 $8,400,000
Asthma ER visits 33 $12,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Study finds dangerous level of hexavalent chromium at Merom waste site

A report released by EarthJustice and the Sierra Club in early February 2011 stated that there are many health threats associated with a toxic cancer-causing chemical found in coal ash waste called hexavalent chromium. The report specifically cited 29 sites in 17 states where the contamination was found. The information was gathered from existing EPA data on coal ash and included locations in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Massachusetts, North Carolina, North Dakota, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virgina and Wisconsin. In Indiana, the Merom Generating Station in Sullivan was reported as having high levels of chromium seeping into groundwater from its coal waste landfill.[5]

According to EPA data, hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) was reported at the Merom Generating Station All landfill site above 100 ppb (parts per billion) - 5,000 times the proposed California drinking water goals and above the federal drinking water standard.[5]

As a press release about the report read:

Hexavalent chromium first made headlines after Erin Brockovich sued Pacific Gas & Electric because of poisoned drinking water from hexavalent chromium. Now new information indicates that the chemical has readily leaked from coal ash sites across the U.S. This is likely the tip of the iceberg because most coal ash dump sites are not adequately monitored.[6]

According to the report, the electric power industry is the leading source of chromium and chromium compounds released into the environment, representing 24 percent of releases by all industries in 2009.[5]


See also: AboutBit Sullivan County facility

On May 11, 2022, AboutBit issued a press release announcing a five year deal to secure 115 MW from the coal fired power plant, and that the facility is expected to go online in the next 30 days.[2] The generating station—currently owned by Hoosier Energy—is being acquired by Hallador Power Co. LLC, with the deal expected to close in July 2022.[7] In 2020, Hoosier Energy announced a plan that included the retirement of the Merom plant, but those plans have been shelved as a result of Hallador's acquisition and AboutBit's agreement to purchase power from the plant.[8][9] Hallador also owns Sunrise Coal LLC, Indiana's second largest coal producer.[8]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Merom Generating Station to be retired in 2023," My Wabash Valley, Jan 21, 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 "AboutBit launches one of nation's largest cryptocurrency mining facilities". Global News Wire. May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "EPA’s Blind Spot: Hexavalent Chromium in Coal Ash" Earthjustice & Sierra Club, February 1, 2011.
  6. "Coal ash waste tied to cancer-causing chemicals in water supplies" Alicia Bayer,, February 1, 2011.
  7. "Startup to Establish Crypto Mining Facility in Sullivan County". Inside Indiana Business. May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  8. 8.0 8.1 "AboutBit to open new crypto mining facility in Southern Indiana". The Business Journals. May 11, 2022. Retrieved May 20, 2022.
  9. "Global Energy Monitor: Merom Generating Station".

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