W.H. Sammis Plant is a 1,694.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by FirstEnergy near Stratton, Ohio.
The undated satellite photo below shows the plant near Stratton.
- Owner: FirstEnergy
- Parent Company: FirstEnergy
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 2,455.6 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 190.4 MW (1959), Unit 2: 190.4 MW (1960), Unit 3: 190.4 MW (1961), Unit 4: 190.4 MW (1962), Unit 5: 334.0 MW (1967), Unit 6: 680.0 MW (1969), Unit 7: 680.0 MW (1971)
- Location: State Route 7, Stratton, OH 43961
- GPS Coordinates: 40.531322, -80.631731
- Technology: Subcritical (Units 1-5), Supercritical (Units 6 + 7)
- Coal type: Bituminous
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source: Shoemaker Mine (Murray Energy), Marshall County Mine (Murray Energy)
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: Units 1-4 were retired in June 2020.
Units 1-4, 190 MW each and commissioned between 1959 and 1962, are planned for retirement by May 2020.
Units 5-7, commissioned 1967 to 1971 and totaling 1694 MW gross capacity, are planned for retirement by June 1, 2022. However, in July 2019 is was reported that First Energy rescinded the June 2022 deactivation notice for units 5-7.
Units 1-4 were retired in June 2020.
In 2005, FirstEnergy agreed to a US$1.5 billion overhaul of the plant that included adding an 850-foot smokestack. After the retrofit is completed, gypsum waste created by scrubbers will travel by closed conveyor belt to a landfill 2.4 miles from the plant, where the company will store as much as 1.6 million tons of sludge each year.
The pollution controls were completed in 2010 at a cost of US$1.8 billion.
In 2012, FirstEnergy said it would reduce operations at the plant because the electricity is not needed. Minimal operations would begin Sept. 16 and the cutbacks would continue indefinitely "until the stagnant economy improves."
In September 2015 Vox reported that FirstEnergy was seeking a 15-year guaranteed agreement from the state to purchase all power that the plant produces, regardless of whether it is the lowest cost on the market. As stated in Vox, "ratepayers of three of [FirstEnergy's] distribution utilities — Illuminating Co., Ohio Edison, and Toledo Edison — would be forced to buy, through a power purchase agreement (PPA), all the power that the [Sammis plant] produces over the next 15 years, along with the output of two other very old coal plants in which FirstEnergy has a partial stake."
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 15,761,762 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 86,392 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 20,592 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 397 lb.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Sammis 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 the Sammis Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||120||$46,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
Ohio HB 6 and coal subsidies
In May 2019 the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 6 (HB6) which beginning in January 2020 levied a fee of roughly 58 cents per bill for residential customers and 85 cents per 1,000 kilowatt-hour for commercial and industrial customers. Revenues from these fees are being used to subsidize two coal-fired plants, Kyger Creek Station in Ohio and Clifty Creek Station in Indiana. Shortly after the passage of HB6 FirstEnergy also announced that it would delay the planned retirement of the W.H. Sammis plant.
In July 2020 Ohio Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four associates were arrested and charged with coordinating a $60 million bribery scheme with FirstEnergy, in return for which Householder included a bailout for two FirstEnergy nuclear power plants as part of HB 6. In August 2020 the Ohio legislature began considering several bills that would partially or completely repeal HB6.
Articles and Resources
- "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
- "Generation Deactivations" pjm.com, accessed June 2020.
- "FirstEnergy to shut or sell last unit at Bay Shore," The Blade, July 23, 2016
- "FirstEnergy Solutions Files Deactivation Notice for Oil- and Coal-fired Plants in Ohio and Pennsylvania," PR Newswire, Aug 29, 2018
- "FirstEnergy Solutions Rescinds Deactivation Notices for Competitive Generating Plants in Ohio" prnewswire.com, Juli 26, 2019.
- David Roberts, Ohio just passed the worst energy bill of the 21st century, Vox, Jul. 27, 2019
- "Scrubbing air," Columbus Dispatch, May 6, 2008
- Bob Downing, "FirstEnergy to cut back operations at Sammis power plant," McClatchy-Tribune Regional News - The Akron Beacon Journal, August 17, 2012.
- David Roberts, "This Ohio utility has an innovative plan to save coal power: force customers to buy it," Vox, Sep 3, 2015
- "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
- There’s a lot of important stuff in Ohio House Bill 6 besides the nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Sep. 15, 2020
- Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder arrested in $60M bribery case related to HB6 nuclear bailout, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Jul. 21, 2020
- Capitol Insider: Ohio Senate likely to repeal HB 6 before Election Day, Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 23, 2020
- 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.