Mitchell Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Mitchell Plant is a 1,632.6-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Appalachian Power Company near Moundsville, West Virginia.


Pictured below are both the Mitchell and the now closed Kammer plants to the north, both of which belong to AEP.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Appalachian Power Company through Wheeling Power Co 50%, Kentucky Power 50%[1]
  • Parent Company: American Electric Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,632.6 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 816.3 MW (1971), Unit 2: 816.3 MW (1971)
  • Location: Route 2 South, Moundsville, WV 26041
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.829593, -80.816328
  • Technology: Supercritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Marshall County Mine (Consolidation Coal), Ridgeline Coal Job 4 (Case Coal Sales), Big Sandy Land Mine (Case Coal Sales)[2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements:

Plant Ownership

On February 2, 2012, AEP subsidiary Appalachian Power said the utility will soon file paperwork with state and federal regulators to buy two 800 megawatt Mitchell units from its parent, AEP.[3]

In november 2013 it was reported that Kentucky Power would buy a 50% stake in the plant from Ohio Power Company to replace the capacity lost due to the closure of Unit 2 of the Big Sandy Plant. [4]

American Electric Power is looking to sell Kentucky Power to Liberty Utilities. Liberty Utilities is owned by Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp and includes the Empire District Electric Company after a 2017 acquisition. Liberty Utilities will continue with the exit from the Mitchell Plant in 2028. After the deadline Wheeling Power will take full control of the power plant with the intention to operate the plant untill 2040. Liberty Power has the intention to invest heavily in Renewables to replace the Mitchell capacity and the lost of capacity from Kentucky Power's contract for 390MW capacity from Rockport Plant.[5][6]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,478,000 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 53,152 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Mitchell 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.[7] 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.[8]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Mitchell Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 51 $380,000,000
Heart attacks 83 $9,100,000
Asthma attacks 780 $41,000
Hospital admissions 38 $900,000
Chronic bronchitis 30 $13,000,000
Asthma ER visits 39 $14,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Kammer and Mitchell plants ranked 28th 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.[9] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[10]

Kammer and Mitchell together ranked 28th on the list, with 1,372,687 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[9]

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

Mithcell Plant's Fly Ash Pond surface impoundment is on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[11]

Articles and Resources


  1. "Appalachian Power Facts" (archived), viewed April 25, 2020
  2. "EIA 923 January 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  3. "Appalachian Power to buy 2 W.Va. AEP plants" AP, Feb. 2, 2012.
  4. "Kentucky Power Now Owns Half of Mitchell Plant", November 22, 2013.
  5. "Algonquin could sell assets to fund Kentucky Power, transmission acquisition", November 12, 2021
  6. "PSC: Mitchell Plant Can Stay Operational Until At Least 2040" The, October 13, 2021
  7. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  8. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  10. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  11. Coal waste

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