Willmar Power Plant
Willmar Power Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Willmar Municipal Utilities in Willmar, Minnesota.
In December 2017 it was reported that Willmar Municipal Utilities had decided to primarily use natural gas to power the plant, as it was determined to be lower cost than using coal. The coal currently piled behind the power plant should be the last delivered.
- Owner: Willmar Municipal Utilities
- Parent Company: City of Willmar, Minnesota
- Plant Nameplate Capacity: 22.0 MW (Megawatts)
- Units and In-Service Dates: 4.0 MW (1949), 18.0 MW (1970)
- Location: 710 Benson Ave. SW, Willmar, MN 56201
- GPS Coordinates: 45.121766, -95.054316
- Electricity Production: 41,742 MWh (2005)
- Coal Consumption:
- Coal Source:
- Number of Employees:
- CO2 Emissions: 90,246 tons (2006)
- SO2 Emissions: 687 tons (2002)
- SO2 Emissions per MWh: 32.92 lb/MWh
- NOx Emissions: 192 tons (2002)
- Mercury Emissions:
Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Willmar 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. 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.
Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Willmar Power Plant
|Type of Impact||Annual Incidence||Valuation|
|Asthma ER visits||4||$2,000|
Source: "Find Your Risk from Power Plant Pollution," Clean Air Task Force interactive table, accessed February 2011
Articles and Resources
- Shelby Lindrud, "Willmar Municipal Utilities turns away from coal," West Central Tribune, Dec 1, 2017
- "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
- "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
- Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Environmental Integrity Project, "Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants", July 2007.
- Facility Registry System, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed Jan. 2009.
- Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed Feb. 2009.
- NETL Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
- AirData Query Database, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, accessed April 2009.
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