Weadock Generating Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Weadock Generating Plant was a coal-fired power station owned and operated by CMS Energy near Essexville, Michigan.

The plant's two coal-burning units were retired in 2016.[1][2]

A planned addition, the Karn/Weadock Generating Complex Expansion, was canceled in 2011.


Pictured below are both the Karn and Weadock plants, both of which belong to CMS.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Consumers Energy Company
  • Parent Company: CMS Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 313 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 156 MW (1955), 156 MW (1958)
  • Location: 2742 North Weadock Hwy., Essexville, MI 48732
  • GPS Coordinates: 43.642089, -83.838188
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,103,672 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Consumers Energy cancels Karn/Weadock expansion and announces retirement of two units at Karn/Weadock complex

On December 2, 2011, Consumers Energy announced that is was cancelling the proposed 800 megawatt Karn/Weadock Generating Complex Expansion because of "reduced customer demand for electricity due to the recession and slow economic recovery, surplus generating capacity in the Midwest market, and lower natural gas prices linked to expanded shale gas supplies." In addition, the company announced that it was suspending operations by the end of 2014 at two units of the Karn Weadock Generating Complex.[3]

The power station is planned for retirement in 2016.[4]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Weadock Generating 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.[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 the Weadock Generating Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 27 $200,000,000
Heart attacks 43 $4,800,000
Asthma attacks 430 $22,000
Hospital admissions 20 $460,000
Chronic bronchitis 16 $7,100,000
Asthma ER visits 24 $9,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Karn and Weadock Generating Plants ranked 33nd 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.[7] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[8]

Together Karn and Weadock Generating Plants ranked 33rd on the list, with 1,171,382 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[7]

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