Southport Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Southport Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by EPCOR Power near Southport, North Carolina.

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Plant Description

On its websbite EPCOR Power describes the plant as a "combined heat and power facility" which is fuelled by a combination of coal and waste tyres. It states that the plant "provides steam to the nearby Archer Daniels Midland Company. Electric output is sold to Carolina Power & Light, a wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Energy, under a power purchase agreement ... The plant's six stoker boilers burn a combination of coal and tire-derived fuel. Tire-derived fuel is the product of chipping waste tires and removing the metal from the tread. Tires not used as fuel are most often disposed of in landfills."[1]

Biomass Conversion

Primary Energy Roxboro Power Plant & Southport Plant, North Carolina

In 2008 Capital Power Corp., an Alberta, Canada-based company, purchased EPCOR Power and began transitioning the plants off of coal with the use of biomass.[2] As of early 2010 Capital Power Corp. had spent $80 million making improvements to both the Primary Energy Roxboro Power Plant and the Southport Plant to co-fire woody biomass and tire-derived fuel along with coal.[3]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Primary Energy of North Carolina LLC
  • Parent Company: EPCOR Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 135 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 68 MW (1987), 68 MW (1987)
  • Location: 1281 Cogentrix Dr. Southeast, Southport, NC 28461
  • GPS Coordinates: 33.944822, -78.011556
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 6,544 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Southport

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 Southport Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 5 $39,000,000
Heart attacks 8 $850,000
Asthma attacks 87 $4,000
Hospital admissions 4 $91,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,400,000
Asthma ER visits 5 $2,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. EPCOR Power, "Southport: Southport, North Carolina", EPCOR Power website, accessed February 2009.
  2. "Capital Power Income L.P. reports fourth quarter and year-end results" Yahoo Finance, accessed April 27, 2010.
  3. "Utility case may decide how N.C. wants to regulate renewables" Frank Vinluan, Triangle Business Journal, January 1, 2010.
  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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