Welsh Power Plant

From Global Energy Monitor

Welsh Power Plant is a 1,116.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by American Electric Power (AEP) near Mt. Pleasant, Texas.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: Southwestern Electric Power Company
  • Parent Company: American Electric Power
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,674.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 1: 558.0 MW (1977), Unit 2: 558.0 MW (1980), Unit 3: 558.0 MW (1982)
  • Location: 1187 County Road 4865, Pittsburg, TX 75686, United States
  • GPS Coordinates: 33.055230, -94.839840
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements: Unit 2 was retired in April of 2016.[2] The remaining units will cease burning coal in 2028.[3]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 11,900,000 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 37,154 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Unit Retirement

In November 2020, AEP agreed to cease coal operations at the plant in 2028.[3]

Unit 2 closure

AEP announced in June 2011 that they were slating to close Unit 2 (558.0 MW) by Dec. 31, 2014, while Units 1 and 3 (1,116 MW) would continue to operate with scrubber retrofits.[4][5]

Unit 2 was retired in April 2016.[6][2]

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.[7]

In addition, six other plants which will reduce their power output:[8]

  • 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;
  • Tanners Creek Plant, Lawrenceburg, Indiana - Units 1, 2 and 3 (495 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Unit 4 (500 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits; and
  • Welsh Power Plant, Pittsburg, Texas - Unit 2 (558 MW) retired by Dec. 31, 2014; Units 1 and 3 (1,116 MW) would continue to operate with retrofits.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Welsh Power 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.[9] 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.[10]

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

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 37 $270,000,000
Heart attacks 56 $6,100,000
Asthma attacks 640 $33,000
Hospital admissions 27 $630,000
Chronic bronchitis 23 $10,000,000
Asthma ER visits 40 $15,000

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

Coal Waste Sites

Welsh ranked 53rd 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.[11] The data came from the EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for 2006, the most recent year available.[12]

Welsh Power Plant ranked number 53 on the list, with 562,064 pounds of coal combustion waste released to surface impoundments in 2006.[11]

Articles and Resources


  1. "EIA 923 July 2020" EIA 923 July 2020.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Welsh Power Plant Environmental Retrofit Project," SWEPCO, accessed Oct 2016
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cavazos, Michael (2020-11-05). "SWEPCO to retire Pirkey Power Plant in Hallsville in 2023". Longview News-Journal. Retrieved 2020-11-06.
  4. "Welsh Power Plant unit slated for closure " Marica Davis-Seale, The Daily Tribune, June 11, 2011.
  5. "AEP Could Close Kammer Plant" J.W. Johnson Jr, The Intelligencer, June 10, 2011.
  6. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, Generator Data, US EIA, 2014
  7. "AEP would shutter 5 coal plants to meet EPA rules" Coal Tattoo, June 9, 2011.
  8. [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.
  9. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  10. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 Sue Sturgis, "Coal's ticking timebomb: Could disaster strike a coal ash dump near you?," Institute for Southern Studies, January 4, 2009.
  12. TRI Explorer, EPA, accessed January 2009.

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