Naughton Power Plant

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Naughton Power Plant is a 448.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by PacifiCorp near Kemmerer, Wyoming.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: PacifiCorp
  • Parent Company: MidAmerican Energy (owned by Berkshire Hathaway)
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 832.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 192.0 MW (1963), Unit 2: 256.0 MW (1968), Unit 3: 384.0 MW (1971)
  • Location: 1025 Sublette Dr., Kemmerer, WY 83101
  • GPS Coordinates: 41.757232, -110.597654
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Kemmerer Mine (Kemmerer Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 3 retired in January 2019,[2] and Units 1 and 2 are tentatively scheduled for retirement in 2025.[3]


In 2014 PacifiCorp said unit 3 will be closed by 2017, and will switch on six months later as a natural gas-burning unit.[4][5]

In June 2015, PacifiCorp said Units 1 & 2 are scheduled for retirement by 2029.[6]

In 2018 it was unclear if unit 3 will be converted to natural gas or closed indefinitely.[7]

The Company was required to cease coal-fired operations in Naughton Unit 3 on January 30, 2019, to maintain compliance with certain environmental regulations,[8] and a gas conversion was being contemplated at the site.[9]

An April 2019 study by PacifiCorp identified both units 1 & 2 as being less economic to operate beyond 2022 than alternatives. Both were candidates for early retirement.[10]

In September 2019, it was reported the entire power station was planned to close by 2025.[11][12]

PacifiCorp's 2021 integrated resource plan also showed units 1 and 2 retiring in 2025.[13]

Nuclear proposal

In November 2021, TerraPower announced it had selected Kemmerer, Wyoming, near PacifiCorp's retiring coal-fired Naughton Power Plant, as the site of its Natrium nuclear reactor demonstration project. The company anticipated submitting the demonstration plant's construction permit application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in mid-2023, and planned to have the advanced reactor operational in 2028. The 2021 IRP showed the 500-MW Natrium demonstration project coming on line by summer 2028.[13]

Coal Supply

The Kemmerer mine that supplies the coal to the Naugton Power plant was formerly owned by Westmoreland Coal. After if bankruptcy in 2019 it handed over the coal mine to its lenders becasue it could not find a buyer. The lenders will continue to operate the mine. [14] The Naughton plant is the sole buyer for Kemmerer mine's coal, if PacifiCorp decided to close the entire plant early the mine could also be closed in the process.

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 5,855,902 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 20,664 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 14,168 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 30 lb.

Coal ash at Naughton

According to a 2007 risk assessment report released by the EPA, Wyoming has 17 coal ponds at 5 coal-fired power plant sites. Of these ponds, 11 are over 30 years in age and 4 are over 40 years old. Additionally, four surface impoundments and landfills were reported as being unlined, and two that were clay-lined.

The history of coal ash releases in Wyoming are as follow:

  • 55,000 cubic yards of fly ash spilled from a pond at the Naughton Power Plant
  • In January 2009, 14,400 gallons of coal ash processing water overflowed the canal at a coal ash pond at the Dave Johnston Power Plant
  • Seepage occurred at the Bridger Power Station, where 10,000 gallons of coal ash was released per month, which was then pumped back into the pond[15]

Naughton ranked 58th 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.[16] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[17]

Naughton Power Plant ranked number 58 on the list, with 517,966 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[16]

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  2. "Wyoming: PacifiCorp closes Unit 3 at Naughton coal plant", February 1, 2020
  3. "PacifiCorp details early Bridger, Naughton coal closures", October 3, 2020
  4. "The big switch: utilities' conversion from coal to natural gas," Casper Star-Tribune, May 31, 2014
  5. "PacifiCorp Long Range Energy Plan Calls for Less Coal, More Energy Efficiency," PacifiCorp, June 8, 2015
  6. "PacifiCorp Long Range Energy Plan Calls for Less Coal, More Energy Efficiency," PacifiCorp, June 8, 2015
  7. "Tied to coal, Kemmerer’s future looks uncertain," WyoFile, May 8, 2018
  8. "Victim of times, Kemmerer coal-fired generator shuts down," Wyoming News Exchange, Jan 31, 2019
  9. "Direct Testimony of Robert Van Engelenhoven," Rocky Mountain Power PSC Filing, May 2020
  10. "PacifiCorp updates economic analysis of coal fleet," PacifiCorp, April 25, 2019
  11. "Pacifcorp sees 2 GW coal retirements, $599M savings by 2040 in latest planning scenarios," Utility Dive, Sept. 11, 2019
  12. "PacifiCorp to add 7 GW renewables + storage, close 20 of 24 coal plants," Utility Dive, Oct 3, 2019
  13. 13.0 13.1 "TerraPower Selects PacifiCorp's Retiring Naughton Plant as Site for Demo Reactor," California Energy Markets, November 19, 2021
  15. "Wyoming Coal Ash Factsheet" Earthjustice, accessed November 16. 2011.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  17. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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