Shelby Municipal Light Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Shelby Municipal Light Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by the City of Shelby, Ohio. The plant supplies approximately 2/3 of the city’s electric requirements, with purchases through American Municipal Power Ohio supplying the remainder.[1]

In 2009, utility director in Shelby Brad Harvey said tightening federal air-pollution limits, including carbon dioxide, would probably lead the plant to close within the next three years. According to Nick Akins, AEP's vice president of generation, any plants smaller than 200 megawatts would probably not produce enough power to justify the cost of retrofitting the plants. Harvey said he is exploring options for the 35-megawatt Light Plant, including switching one of the three coal-fired units to natural gas and operating the plant only during peak hours. The rest of the Richland County town's electricity probably would be provided by American Municipal Power.[2]

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Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Entity: City of Shelby, OH
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 37.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 5.0 MW (1948), 7.0 MW (1954), 12.5 MW (1968), 12.5 MW (1973)
  • Location: 34 Mansfield Ave., Shelby, OH 44875
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.879611, -82.65672
  • Electricity Production: 58,629 MWh (2006)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 109,247 tons (2006)
  • SO2 Emissions: 3,970 tons (2002)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • NOx Emissions: 663 tons (2002)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Shelby Municipal Light 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.[3] 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Shelby Municipal Light Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 11 $82,000,000
Heart attacks 18 $1,900,000
Asthma attacks 180 $9,000
Hospital admissions 9 $190,000
Chronic bronchitis 7 $2,900,000
Asthma ER visits 10 $4,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "City of Shelby, Division of Electric & Telecommunications: Municipal Light Plant" City of Shelby Website, accessed June 2011.
  2. Spencer Hunt, "Small power plants in danger" The Columbus Dispatch, April 26, 2009.
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "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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