Rawhide Energy Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Rawhide Energy Station is a 293.6-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by the Platte River Power Authority near Wellington, Colorado.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Platte River Power Authority
  • Parent Entity: State of Colorado
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 293.6 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 293.6 MW (1984)
  • Location: 2700 East County Rd. 82, Wellington, CO 80549
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.860137, -105.024765
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Antelope Coal Mine (Navajo Transitional Energy Company)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Sole unit to retire by 2028.[2]

Unit Retirement

On June 16, 2020, The Coloradoan reported that Platte River Power Authority has plans to shut down the Rawhide coal plant in 2030 instead of 2046, paving the way for coal-free electricity for its customers in Fort Collins, Loveland, Longmont and Estes Park.[3]

In November 2020 the Air Quality Control Commission approved Colorado’s regional haze plan, requiring the power station to close by 2028.[2]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,441,147 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Rawhide Energy 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] 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.[5]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 3 $22,000,000
Heart attacks 5 $500,000
Asthma attacks 56 $3,000
Hospital admissions 2 $49,000
Chronic bronchitis 2 $880,000
Asthma ER visits 3 $1,000

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

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Regional Haze Plan Calls for Earlier Retirement for Colorado Coal-Fired Power Plants". Earthjustice. 2020-11-20. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
  3. "Rawhide coal plant will close early as Fort Collins, other cities transition to renewables" coloradoan.com, June 16, 2020.
  4. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  5. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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