Polk Power Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Polk Power Station is a 192.9-megawatt (MW) coal- and gas-fired power station owned and operated by TECO Energy near Mulberry, Florida.


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Demonstration plant

In 2010 TECO said it was partnering with RTI International and the Shaw Group to conduct a study on a technology to "clean" synthetic gas (syngas) of sulfur dioxide at elevated temperatures. The study will evaluate the construction of a pilot project to demonstrate the technology on a 30 percent side stream at the Polk IGCC plant.[1]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Tampa Electric Company
  • Parent Company: TECO Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 192.9 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 192.9 MW (1996)
  • Location: 9995 State Rte. 37 South, Mulberry, FL 33860
  • GPS Coordinates: 27.728611, -81.98972
  • Technology: Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle
  • Coal type:
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements:

Unit 1 is an IGCC facility that began commercial operation in the fall of 1996. Although TECO Energy states on its website that the plant is 260-megawatt (MW) gross capacity (220 MW net),[2] the US EIA reports the plant is 192.9 MW gross capacity.[3]

A planned new IGCC station at the same site, Polk Power Station Unit 6, has been cancelled.

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,927,882 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Polk Power 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.[4] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Polk Power Station. 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.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Polk Power Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 1 $6,200,000
Heart attacks 1 $120,000
Asthma attacks 11 <$1,000
Hospital admissions <1 $15,000
Chronic bronchitis <1 $210,000
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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