Nebraska City Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Nebraska City Station is a 1,389.6-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by the Omaha Public Power District near Nebraska City, Nebraska.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Omaha Public Power District
  • Parent Company: City of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,389.6 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 651.6 MW (1979), Unit 2: 738.0 MW (2009)
  • Location: Hwy. 75 South, Nebraska City, NE 68410
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.620731, -95.775311
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Belle Ayr Mine (Bluegrass Commodities), North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Energy), Caballo Mine (Peabody Energy)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements:

Unit 2

In 2005, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) began construction on Unit 2, a 660-megawatt coal-fired unit located next to its unit 1. The plant will burn coal from the Powder River Basin. Half of generated electricity will be used by Omaha Public Power District (OPPD), and the other half will be sold to public utilities in Nebraska, Missouri and Minnesota.[2]

Unit 2 began operating in July, 2009.[3]

Proposed Unit 3 Cancelled

In 2007, the Omaha Public Power District (OPPD) announced plans to build a third 660 megawatt (MW) unit of Nebraska City Station, southeast of Nebraska City. The plant will burn coal from the Powder River Basin.[4]

Although OPPD never announced abandoning the project, it has not communicated about the project with state air officials since announcing the project in July 2007.[5] The company did announce in October 2008 that it was evaluating twelve responses to a Request for Proposals for 80 MW of wind capacity, to be provided by 2010.[6]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,703,183 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 14,994 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 9,402 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 300 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Nebraska City 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.[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 Nebraska City Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 8 $61,000,000
Heart attacks 13 $1,400,000
Asthma attacks 140 $7,000
Hospital admissions 6 $140,000
Chronic bronchitis 5 $2,300,000
Asthma ER visits 9 $3,000

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


A 2011 Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies report, "A Fraction of the Jobs" found that coal-fired power plants overestimate jobs by more than half. The analysis looked at the six largest new coal-fired power plants to come online between 2005 and 2009, including Nebraska City Station Unit 2, and combed through each project’s initial proposals and job projection data, including public statements, published documents and other material. They then compared hat data to actual employment — before, during and after construction — in the areas where the projects were built, relying chiefly on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.[9]

They found that only a little over half - or 56 percent - of every 1,000 jobs projected, appeared to be actually created as a result of the coal plants’ coming online. In four of the six counties, the projects delivered on just over a quarter of the jobs projected. Only one county, the Walter Scott unit number 4 project in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, saw an increase in construction employment that was roughly commensurate with the numbers predicted before the project there got under way.[9]

Construction Employment Change in Counties with New Coal Plants

Plant County Total Projected Employment Actual County Construction Employment Change (Peak) Actual Change as % of Projection
Sandow Unit 5 Milam 1,370 463 33.7%
Nebraska City Station Unit 2 Otoe N/A -73 N/A
Weston Unit 4 Marathon 1,200 429 35.7%
Council Bluffs Energy Center Unit 4 Pottawattamie 1,000 2,407 240.7%
Cross 3 & 4 Berkeley 1,400 509 36.3%
Oak Grove Units 1 & 2 Robertson 2,400 329 13.7%

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  2. Nebraska City 2 Plant, OPPD corporate site, accessed January 2008.
  3. Joe Duggan, "OPPD unveils new power plant near Nebraska City," JournalStar, July 10, 2009
  4. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed June 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  5. "Stopping the Coal Rush", Sierra Club, accessed October 2008. (This is a Sierra Club list of new coal plant proposals.)
  6. "OPPD begins study of wind proposals," October 13, 2008
  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 Tom Zeller, "Coal, Jobs and America’s Energy Future" NY Times, March 31, 2011.

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