Tanners Creek Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Tanners Creek Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by American Electric Power near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

All four units were shut down in May 2015.[1]


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Indiana Michigan Power Company
  • Parent Company: American Electric Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,100 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 153 MW (1951), 153 MW (1952), 215 MW (1954), 580 MW (1964)
  • Location: 800 AEP Dr., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.0805, -84.861111
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Proposed coal plant closure

On June 9, 2011, AEP announced that, based on impending EPA regulations as proposed, AEP’s compliance plan would retire nearly 6,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fueled power generation; upgrade or install new advanced emissions reduction equipment on another 10,100 MW; refuel 1,070 MW of coal generation as 932 MW of natural gas capacity; and build 1,220 MW of natural gas-fueled generation. The cost of AEP’s compliance plan could range from $6 billion to $8 billion in capital investment through the end of the decade. AEP’s current plan for compliance with the rules as proposed includes permanently retiring five of its coal-fueled power plants.[2]

In addition, six other plants would reduce their power output:[3]

  • Tanners Creek Plant, Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Units 1, 2 and 3 (495 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014;
  • Big Sandy Plant, Louisa, Ky. - Units 1 and 2 (1,078 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Big Sandy Unit 1 would be rebuilt as a 640-MW natural gas plant by Dec. 31, 2015;
  • Clinch River Plant, Cleveland, Va. - Unit 3 (235 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 2 (470 MW total) would be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 422 MW by Dec. 31, 2014;
  • Conesville Power Plant, Conesville, Ohio - Unit 3 (165 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2012; Units 5 and 6 (800 MW total) would continue operating with retrofits;
  • Muskingum River Plant, Beverly, Ohio - Units 1-4 (840 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Muskingum River Unit 5 (600 MW) may be refueled with natural gas with a capacity of 510 MW by Dec. 31, 2014, depending on regulatory treatment in Ohio; and
  • Welsh Power Plant, Pittsburg, Texas - Unit 2 (528 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 3 (1,056 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits.

On February 25, 2013, AEP agreed to also stop burning coal at its Tanners Creek Generating Station unit 4 by 2015, updating an earlier 1999 lawsuit and 2007 settlement. AEP will also give $6 million to the eight states that, along with the EPA and environmental groups, filed the original 1999 lawsuit against it for trans-state pollution. The states are Massachusetts, Vermont, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The company will also provide $2.5 million to citizen groups in Indiana working on air pollution.[4]

The Tanners Creek power station was shut down in May 2015.[5]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 5,645,173 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 35,494 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 8,042 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 230 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Tanners Creek

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.[6] 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.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Tanners Creek Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 120 $860,000,000
Heart attacks 180 $20,000,000
Asthma attacks 1,900 $100,000
Hospital admissions 86 $2,000,000
Chronic bronchitis 71 $32,000,000
Asthma ER visits 120 $42,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Tanners Creek ranked 44th on list of most polluting power plants in terms of coal waste

In January 2009, Sue Sturgis of the Institute of Southern Studies compiled a list of the 100 most polluting coal plants in the United States in terms of coal combustion waste (CCW) stored in surface impoundments like the one involved in the TVA Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash spill.[8] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[9]

Tanners Creek Plant ranked number 44 on the list, with 819,840 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[8]

"High Hazard" Surface Impoundment

Tanners Creek Plant's Fly Ash Pond is on the EPA's official June 2009 list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not assess of the likelihood of such an event.[10]

Articles and Resources


  1. "American Electric Power stops generation at 10 coal-fired plants," Platts, 1 June 2015
  2. "AEP would shutter 5 coal plants to meet EPA rules" Coal Tattoo, June 9, 2011.
  3. [http://www.eaglecountryonline.com/news.php?nID=1881 "Return to News AEP Shutting 3 of 4 Units At Tanners Creek"] Eagle Country Online, June 10, 2011.
  4. Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson, "American Electric Power agrees to close 3 coal plants in emissions settlement," Washington Post, Feb 25, 2013.
  5. "American Electric Power stops generation at 10 coal-fired plants," Platts, 1 June 2015
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  9. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  10. Coal waste

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