Vermilion power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Vermilion power station was a 182.3-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by Dynegy near Oakwood, Illinois.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Dynegy Midwest Generation
  • Parent Company: Dynegy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 182.3 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 73.5 MW (1955), Unit 2: 108.8 MW (1956)
  • Location: 10188 East 2150 North Rd., Oakwood, IL 61858, United States
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.178055, -87.748055
  • Technology:
  • Coal type:
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Units 1 and 2 retired in 2011.

Vermillion to close in first quarter 2011

On Dec. 28, 2010, Dynegy announced that it plans to mothball its Vermilion power station in Illinois in the first quarter of 2011. Factors influencing the company’s decision, according to a news release from Dynegy, include the relatively small size of the facility, older technologies and coal delivery challenges that lead to high production costs, as well as weak electricity demand, low prices for power and uncertainties over future regulation. Vermilion’s coal is transported from western states by rail to Danville and then trucked to the Vermilion site. This is the most significant factor leading to Vermilion’s higher production costs, according to the news release.[1]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 980,316 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Illinois Power Company and Dynegy Midwest Generation settlement

On March 7, 2005 the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. EPA along with the State of Illinois announced a settlement between Illinois Power Company and its sucesscor, Dynegy, addressing alleged violations of New Source Review provisions of the Clean Air Act at company's Baldwin Energy Station. The EPA noted that sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions at the plant will decrease by 54,000 tons each year through the installation of approximately $500 million worth of new pollution control equipment. In addition to the Baldwin Generating Station, the Havana power station, Hennepin power station and Vermilion power station, Wood River station were involved in the settlement.

The EPA stated that this "settlement requires installation of four new flue gas desulfurization devices (scrubbers) to control SO2; four new baghouses to control particulate matter (soot); and operation of existing control equipment, including three selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems, year-round to control NOx. The entire five-plant system will be subject to annual emission caps to assure that significant system-wide reductions for both SO2 and NOx are achieved."[2]

Coal Waste Site

Coal Waste Contamination

A 2011 report by Prairie Rivers and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), "Illinois at Risk: Lax safeguards and no enforcement endanger the water, air & lives of residents near coal ash dumps" found that Illinois has the second highest number of contaminated coal ash dump sites in the United States. The report evaluates data from groundwater sampling conducted by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) at coal ash disposal sites in 2010. IEPA found exceedances of health standards for coal ash contaminants in groundwater at all 22 sites evaluated. Prairie Rivers and IEP said two-thirds of the impoundments don't have groundwater monitoring and don't have liners, which keep contaminants from leaching out of the impoundments. And dams holding the impoundments at most of the 83 sites have no permits and have not been inspected for safety or stability by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.[3]

The report focuses on the specific problems at 10 of the 22 coal waste sites: the Vermilion Power Station, the Joliet 9 Generating Station and Joliet 29 Generating Station, the now retired Ameren Energy Venice Power Station in Madison and St. Clair counties, coal ash generated by the Bunge dry corn mill in Vermilion County, the Hutsonville Power Station, the Crown 3 Mine, the Industry Mine, the Gateway Mine, and the coal mine reclamation Murdock site by Alpena Vision Resources in Douglas County.[3]

Prairie Rivers and the EIP said the U.S. EPA should implement comprehensive coal ash regulations that would regulate coal ash as a special waste with federal standards that all states would have to follow, like requiring liners at disposal sites, covers, monitoring, cleanup standards and the phase out of ash ponds. According to the IEPA's ash impoundment strategy progress report in February 2010, the agency now requires new ash ponds to have liners, and the agency supports the U.S. EPA's initiative for stricter controls on coal ash.[4]

The 2011 report, "State of Failure: How
 Ash" by Earthjustice and Appalachian Mountain Advocates, looked at EPA data and found that state regulations are often inadequate for protecting public health. The report noted that Illinois ranked first in the number of coal ash ponds with 83, yet only about a third of the ponds are lined or monitored.

Articles and Resources


  1. Tracy Moss, "Dynegy will close power plant near Oakwood" The Illinois News Gazette, Dec. 28, 2010.
  2. "U.S. Announces Settlement of Illinois Power Case - Company will spend $500 million to reduce air pollution by over 54,000 tons per year," U.S. EPA, March 7, 2005
  3. 3.0 3.1 Jeff Stant and Traci Barkley, "Illinois at Risk: Lax safeguards and no enforcement endanger the water, air & lives of residents near coal ash dumps" Prairie Rivers and Environmental Integrity Project report, August 17, 2011.
  4. Tracy Moss, "EPA says it's monitoring coal ash sites" The News-Gazette, Aug. 19, 2011.

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