Sutherland Generating Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Sutherland Generating Station was a 156.6-megawatt (MW) gas- and coal-fired power station owned and operated by Alliant Energy near Marshalltown, Iowa.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Interstate Power and Light Company
  • Parent Company: Alliant Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 156.6 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 37.5 MW (1955), Unit 2: 37.5 MW (1955), Unit 3: 81.6 MW (1961)
  • Location: 3001 East Main St., Marshalltown, IA 50158
  • GPS Coordinates: 42.049258, -92.863276
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Conversions: Unit 1 and 3 converted from coal to natural gas in 2011.[1]
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 2 retired in 2010, Unit 1 and 3 retired in 2017.[1]

Conversion to Natural Gas

According to EIA databases the plants unit 1 and 3 switched from coal to natural gas in 2011, the last coal delivery was in october of 2011 according to EIA 923 database and the EIA 860 lists both units as having natural gas as their primary fuel source.[1]


According to plans filed with the Minnesota Public Service Commission on November 1, 2010, Alliant Energy plans to close coal-fired boilers at six sites in Iowa, including unit 2 at Sutherland in November 2010, and unit 1 in 2015.[2]

Unit 2 was retired in 2010. In 2012 Alliant said both units 1 and 3 are planned for retirement in 2016.[3] Units 1 and 3 were retired on June 30, 2016.[4]

Units 1 and 3 retired in 2017[1]

Proposed unit 4

On March 5, 2009 Alliant said it was canceling the proposed Sutherland Generating Station Unit 4. The company said the decision was based on a combination of factors, including the financial climate and concerns about the possibility of future regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.[5]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 1,375,365 tons (2006), 1,036,335.94 tons (2008)[6]
  • SO2 Emissions: 6,560.38 tons (2008)[7]
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • NOx Emissions: 2,021.90 (2008)[7]
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Sutherland

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.[8] 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.[9]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 3 $21,000,000
Heart attacks 4 $490,000
Asthma attacks 48 $2,000
Hospital admissions 2 $49,000
Chronic bronchitis 2 $780,000
Asthma ER visits 3 $1,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory", 860m March 2020
  2. Carrie Lowry La Seur, "Alliant to Close Coal Boilers at 7 Sites Across Iowa" Plains Justice Today, Nov. 8, 2010.
  3. "Annual Report," Alliant Energy, 2012
  4. Sierra Club list of US coal plant retirements, Oct. 5, 2016
  5. "Plans cancelled for proposed Sutherland Generating Station Unit 4 hybrid power plant," Alliant Energy, March 5, 2009.
  6. Iowa Operating Permit Application, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  7. 7.0 7.1 Iowa Operating Permit Application, Form 5.0, Title V Annual Emissions Summary
  8. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  9. "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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External Resources