Tolk Station

From Global Energy Monitor

Tolk Station is a 1,135.8-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Southwestern Public Service Company near Sudan, Texas.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Southwestern Public Service Company[1]
  • Parent Company: Xcel Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,135.8 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 567.9 MW (1982), Unit 2: 567.9 MW (1985)
  • Location: 1 mile south of Highway 70, Sudan, TX 79371
  • GPS Coordinates: 34.183269, -102.569474
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal), North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Coal)[2]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Both units 1 and 2 are scheduled for retirement in 2032.[3][4]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 7,124,264 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 20,641 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 9,478 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 252 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Tolk 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 Tolk Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 15 $110,000,000
Heart attacks 23 $2,600,000
Asthma attacks 260 $14,000
Hospital admissions 11 $260,000
Chronic bronchitis 9 $4,200,000
Asthma ER visits 15 $6,000

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

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