J. K. Spruce Station

From Global Energy Monitor
(Redirected from Spruce Unit 2)

J. K. Spruce Station is an operating power station of at least 1444-megawatts (MW) in San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, United States. It is also known as Spruce, Calaveras.


Table 1: Project-level location details

Plant name Location Coordinates (WGS 84)
J. K. Spruce Station San Antonio, Bexar, Texas, United States 29.3079639, -98.3211333 (exact)

The map below shows the exact location of the power station.

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Unit-level coordinates (WGS 84):

  • Unit 1: 29.3079639, -98.3211333
  • Unit 2: 29.307203, -98.320198

Project Details

Table 2: Unit-level details

Unit name Status Fuel(s) Capacity (MW) Technology CHP Start year Retired year
Unit 1 operating coal - subbituminous 566 subcritical 1992 2028
Unit 2 operating coal - unknown, coal - subbituminous, fossil gas - natural gas 878 subcritical 2010 2027 (planned)

CHP is an abbreviation for Combined Heat and Power. It is a technology that produces electricity and thermal energy at high efficiencies. Coal units track this information in the Captive Use section when known.

Table 3: Unit-level ownership and operator details

Unit name Owner
Unit 1 City of San Antonio (Texas) [100.0%]
Unit 2 City of San Antonio (Texas) [100.0%]

Problems after commissioning

The Sierra Club reported in October 2010 that CPS Energy "postponed restarting its recently completed Spruce 2 coal-fired power plant, due to problems with the transformer that provides power to nearby substations via high-voltage power lines. The coal plant, which ran at full power all summer, was taken off-line in early September for more detailed inspections of the transformer and other systems. Officials expected to bring the plant back online this month, but it will remain down while the transformer is repaired or replaced."[1]

Coal retirement

In January 2023, CPS Energy announced that they would shutter their final coal asset, the J.K. Spruce Station, in 2028. Unit 1 would be fully decommissioned and Unit 2 would be converted to run on gas.[2] The plan was not in line with San Antonio's Climate Action and Adaptation Plan, and the utility was criticized for the decision to covert to natural gas rather than renewables.[3]

In May 2024, it was reported that CPS would begin to execute its plans to turn the coal-burning Unit 2 into a gas plant by the fall of 2024.[4]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,560,392 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Spruce Station

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.[5] 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.[6]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 1 $7,900,000
Heart attacks 2 $180,000
Asthma attacks 21 $1,000
Hospital admissions 1 $18,000
Chronic bronchitis 1 $320,000
Asthma ER visits 1 <$1,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "Spruce" Sierra Club, accessed June 23, 2014.
  2. "San Antonio to End use of Coal with Five Years" Texas Observer, January 26, 2023
  3. "CPS Energy Announces Spruce Coal Closure in 2028" Sierra Club, January 23, 2023.
  4. "CPS asks ERCOT to approve shutdown of Braunig power units as clean energy transition rolls on". San Antoni Express News. March 19, 2024. Retrieved June 17, 2024.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  6. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

Additional data

To access additional data, including interactive maps of the power stations, downloadable datases, and summary data, please visit the Global Coal Plant Tracker and the Global Oil and Gas Plant Tracker on the Global Energy Monitor website.