Shawville Generating Station
Shawville Generating Station was a 626.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by GenOn Energy near Shawville, Pennsylvania.
- Owner: (Leased Asset) GenOn Energy
- Parent Company: GenOn Holdings
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 626.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 125.0 MW (1954), Unit 2: 125.0 MW (1954), Unit 3: 188.0 MW (1959), Unit 4: 188.0 MW (1960)
- Location: Rte. 879 and Rte. 970, Shawville, PA 16873
- GPS Coordinates: 41.066778, -78.365833
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- Unit Retirements: All 4 units were converted to natural gas in 2016.
Conversion to Natural Gas
- 2006 CO2 Emissions: 3,634,960 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions: 47,287 tons
- 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
- 2006 NOx Emissions: 7,413 tons
- 2005 Mercury Emissions: 691 lb.
Shawville third highest in U.S. toxic power plant emissions
A 2011 joint report by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), EarthJustice, and the Sierra Club rated the top power plants for toxic power plant emissions. Some of the chemicals used to rank the states’ emission status included chromium, arsenic, lead, and mercury. In terms of sheer pounds of emissions of the four highly toxic heavy metals, Shawville ranked third highest in the nation.
The 2012 NRDC report, Poisoning the Great Lakes: 25 Coal-fired Power Plants Responsible for Half the Region's Mercury Pollution, found that 25 coal-fired power plants account for more than half of the mercury pollution emitted by the total of 144 electricity generation facilities in the Great Lakes region, and that almost 90 percent of the toxic emissions could be eliminated with available technologies. Over 13,000 pounds of mercury was emitted by the 144 coal plants into the air in 2010.
The coal-fired power plants with the highest mercury emissions are: Shawville Generating Station (Clearfield County, PA); Monroe Power Plant (Monroe County, MI); Homer City Generating Station (Indiana County, PA); Cardinal Plant (Jefferson County, OH); and Sherburne County Plant (Sherburne County, MN). A dozen power plants in Ohio and Indiana -- owned in whole or part by American Electric Power -- accounted for 19 percent of all mercury emitted in 2010 in the region.
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Shawville
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 Shawville Generating Station
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||42||$16,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed March 2011
Articles and Resources
- "Genon form 8-K" Sec.gov, 8-K filinf accessed May 2020.
- "GenOn Looking to Cut Generating Capacity … Shawville Plant in the Crosshairs," GantDaily.com, Feb. 29, 2012.
- Sierra Club list of US coal plant retirements, Oct. 5, 2016
- Robert Walton, "NRG completes conversion of 4 coal plants to burn natural gas," Utility Drive, Dec 23, 2016
- "Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas are Top States in Terms of Toxic Power Plant Air Pollution" EIP, December 7, 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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