Spruance power station

From Global Energy Monitor
Part of the
Global Gas Plant Tracker,
a Global Energy Monitor project.
Report an error
Related categories:

Spruance power station is a 114.8-megawatt (MW) natural gas-fired power station near Richmond, Virginia.[1]


Loading map...

Plant Data

  • Owner: Newark Energy Center LLC
  • Parent Company: Ares Holdings LP
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 57.4 MW (1992), Unit 2: 57.4 MW (1992), Unit 3: 57.4 MW (1992), Unit 4: 57.4 MW (1992)
  • Location: 5001 Commerce Rd., Richmond, VA 23234
  • GPS Coordinates: 37.455374,-77.430718
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: South Hollow Prep Plant (Blackhawk mining)[2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Conversions: Units 3 and 4 were converted from coal-fired to natural gas-fired in 2019.[3]
  • Unit Retirements: Coal-fired units 1 and 2 retired on January 12, 2021.[4]

Unit Retirement

The power station was planned for closure in 2017. On April 18, 2017, plant owner Ares Holdings submitted an updated deactivation notice to PJM Interconnection with an October 31, 2020 deactivation date.[5]

According to the US EIA database, Units 1 and 2 are scheduled for retirement in January 2021, and Units 3 and 4 were converted to natural gas in 2019.[3]

According to an IEEFA article from October 2019 titled "Coal-fired Power Generation in Freefall Across Southeast U.S." both remaining coal units of the Spruance power station are "operating in name only; neither [unit] has generated any electricity since March [2020] and neither has posted a capacity factor of more than 9% in the past 12 months."[6]

Units 1 and 2 retired on January 12, 2021.[4]


The plant was owned by Cogentrix of Goldman Sachs. In 2007, Energy Investors Funds (EIF Management), an established private equity fund manager that invests in the US energy and electricity sector, announced that its United States Power Fund III completed the acquisition of 80% of Cogentrix Energy's interest in 14 power plants, including Spruance.[7]

In 2014, the plant was bought by Ares Holdings LP as part of its buyout of energy infrastructure asset manager EIF Management LLC (now known as Ares EIF Management LLC). PJM lists the owner of the plant as Ares affiliate Newark Energy Center LLC.[8]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,336,209 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Spruance and Environmental Justice

Cogentrix of Richmond has 31,903 residents within a 3-mile radius and 1,977 within a one-mile radius. Within the 3-mile radius, 59.4% of residents are non-white with a per capita income of $17,627, below the U.S. per capita income of $21,587,[9] raising issues around environmental justice and coal. Cogentrix of Richmond is among over 100 coal plants near residential areas.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Spruance

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.[10] 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.[11]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Spruance

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 11 $78,000,000
Heart attacks 16 $1,700,000
Asthma attacks 180 $9,000
Hospital admissions 8 $180,000
Chronic bronchitis 7 $2,900,000
Asthma ER visits 9 $3,000

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

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources


  1. "DuPont selects Veolia to upgrade, operate and maintain utilities on its Spruance site in Virginia (United States)," Veolia.com, April 20, 2018
  2. "EIA 923 January 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Electric Generator Inventory, US EIA, January 2020
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Generation Deactivations" PJM.com, accessed April 9, 2021
  5. "Future deactivations," PJM Interconnection LLC, updated June 1, 2017
  6. "Coal-fired Power Generation in Freefall Across Southeast U.S." IEEFA, October 2019, page 33
  7. "Energy Investors Funds buys power plants from Goldman's Cogentrix Energy". Private Equity Wire. 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  8. Sweeney, Darren (2017-05-08). "Asset manager to shut down NC, Va. coal plants". SP Global. Retrieved 2020-06-15.
  9. United States - Income and Poverty in 1999: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.
  10. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  11. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

Related GEM.wiki articles

External Articles