Wansley Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Wansley Plant is a 1,904.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station operated by Southern Company near Franklin, Georgia.


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Plant Data

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 13,612,838 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 96,200 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 13,814 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 452 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Wansley 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.[7] 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.[8]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 55 $400,000,000
Heart attacks 77 $8,400,000
Asthma attacks 940 $49,000
Hospital admissions 39 $920,000
Chronic bronchitis 34 $15,000,000
Asthma ER visits 57 $21,000

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

Coal Waste Site

Wansley ranked 9th 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.[9] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[10]

Wansley Plant ranked number 9 on the list, with 2,673,672 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[9]

Legislative issues

House Bill 276, proposed by Margaret Oliver (D-Decatur), would put a 5-year moratorium on building new coal plants and eliminate the burning of Appalachian coal mined by mountaintop removal by mid-2016. The Appalachian Mountain Preservation Act would gradually prohibit Georgia coal consumers from using Central Appalachian mountaintop removal beginning in 2011. The bill is backed by environmental groups including Appalachian Voices but received strong opposition from POWER4Georgians, a coalition of 10 electric co-operatives seeking to build a $2 billion 850-megawatt supercritical coal plant in Washington County.[11][12]

Citizen groups

Focus the Nation: Valdosta State University

Articles and Resources


  1. "Jointly Owned Plants as of Dec 31 2018" georgiapower.com, accessed June 2020
  2. "Generating Facilities" opc.com. accessed June 2020
  3. "Facilities" meagpower.com, accessed June 2020
  4. "Electric Facilities" dutil.com accessed June 2020
  5. "EIA 923 2019" EIA 923 2019.
  6. "Southern Co. plans to retire, repower fossil-fueled plants". www.spglobal.com. Retrieved 2021-12-22.
  7. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  8. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  10. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.
  11. "Georgia bill proposes moratorium on new coal plants," Reuters, February 4, 2009.
  12. Margaret Newkirk, "Bill would restrict coal power plants," Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 4, 2009.

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