St. Nicholas Cogeneration Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

St. Nicholas Cogeneration Plant is a 99.2-megawatt (MW) waste coal-fired power station owned and operated by Schuylkill Energy Resources near Shenandoah, Pennsylvania.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Schuylkill Energy Resources
  • Parent Company: John W. Rich
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 99.2 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit SNCP: 99.2 MW (1990)
  • Location: 200 Mahantongo St., Shenandoah, PA 17976
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.822464, -76.17347
  • Technology: Subcritical Fluidized Bed Technology
  • Coal type: Waste Coal
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: St. Nicholas Cogeneration Project (Schuylkill Energy)[1][2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements:

Waste Coal Pile

The St Nicholas Cogeneration Plant is build on the location of the St Nick Breaker (1931 - 1965) burning its waste coal culm bank left after the facility was abandoned.[2]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 971,164 tons (2006)
  • SO2 Emissions: 1,743 tons (2002)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 5.18 lb/MWh
  • NOx Emissions: 378 tons (2002)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from St. Nicholas Cogeneration 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 St. Nicholas Cogeneration Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 16 $120,000,000
Heart attacks 28 $3,000,000
Asthma attacks 250 $13,000
Hospital admissions 13 $290,000
Chronic bronchitis 10 $4,200,000
Asthma ER visits 11 $4,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 March 2020" EIA 923 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "St Nicolas Cogen", accessed June 2020
  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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