Nucla Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Nucla Station was a 113.8-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Tri-State Generation and Transmission near Nucla, Colorado.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Tri-State Generation and Transmission
  • Parent Company: Tri-State Generation and Transmission
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 113.8 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 11.5 MW (1959), Unit 2: 11.5 MW (1959), Unit 3: 11.5 MW (1959), Unit 4: 79.3 MW (1991)
  • Location: 30739 DD 30 Rd., Nucla, CO 81424
  • GPS Coordinates: 38.238889, -108.50805
  • Technology: Subcritical Fluidized Bed Technology
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: New Horizon Mine (New Horizon)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: All four units retired in 2019.[2]

Plant Retirement

In September 2016 it was reported Nucla Station would be retired by December 31, 2022, along with the New Horizon Mine, which supplies coal to the plant.[3]

On July 17, 2019, it was reported that Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association will close the Nucla plant two years ahead of schedule, in early 2020. The plant will be replaced by renewable sources.[4]

On September 9, 2019, the plant ran out of on-site fuel, and was officially retired shortly after.[5]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 885,588 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Nucla 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.[6] 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.[7]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 2 $11,000,000
Heart attacks 2 $250,000
Asthma attacks 28 $2,000
Hospital admissions 1 $24,000
Chronic bronchitis 1 $440,000
Asthma ER visits 1 <$1,000

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

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