Ray Nixon Power Plant
Ray D. Nixon Power Plant is a 207.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by the City of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Owner: Colorado Springs Utilities
- Parent Company: City of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 207.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 207.0 MW (1980)
- Location: 14020 Ray Nixon Rd., Colorado Springs, CO 80817
- GPS Coordinates: 38.633422, -104.706551
- Technology: Subcritical
- Coal type: Sub Bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody), Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: The plant's sole unit planned for retirement by the end of 2028.
In its 2020 Integrated Resource Plan, Colorado Springs Utilities said it was working on retiring all coal power generation before the end of 2030. The Martin Drake Power Plant is planned to retire before the end of 2023 and the Ray Nixon Power Plant before the end of 2030.
In November 2020 the Air Quality Control Commission approved Colorado’s regional haze plan, requiring the Nixon plant to close by 2028.
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,706,023 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions:
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions:
- 2005 Mercury Emissions:
Small fire breaks out at Ray Nixon Plant
On November 28, 2011 fire crews in Colorado Springs reported to a small fire at the Ray Nixon Power Plant. According to Colorado Springs Utilities, the fire was in the dust collector from coal belts and the extinguishing systems turned on, nobody was reported injured. Initial reports were of an explosion but, according to utilities, there was no explosion.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ray Nixon Power Plant
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. 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.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Ray Nixon Power Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||4||$1,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
- Clean Energy Action
- Environment Colorado
- Rate Payers United of Colorado
- Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter
- Wind Power Solutions
Articles and Resources
- "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
- "Regional Haze Plan Calls for Earlier Retirement for Colorado Coal-Fired Power Plants". Earthjustice. 2020-11-20. Retrieved 2020-11-26.
- "Energy Integrated Resource Plans," csu.org, accessed June 21, 2020.
- "UPDATE: Small Fire At Ray Nixon Power Plant" KRDO.com, November 28, 2011.
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Environmental Integrity Project, "Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants", July 2007.
- Facility Registry System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed Feb. 2009.
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