Willow Island power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Willow Island Power Station was a 213-megawatt coal-fired power station owned and operated by the investor-owned electricity utility Monongahela Power Company in Willow Island, West Virginia.[1]

On February 8, 2012, FirstEnergy announced that its Monongahela Power Company (Mon Power) subsidiary would be retiring the plant by September 1, 2012.[2]

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Monongahela Power Company
  • Parent Company: Allegheny Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 213 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 50 MW (1949), 163 MW (1960)
  • Location: Rte. 2, Willow Island, WV 26134
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.366889, -81.300306
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 799,862 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Proposed coal unit closures

On February 8, 2012, FirstEnergy announced that its Monongahela Power Company (Mon Power) subsidiary would be retiring three older coal-fired power plants located in West Virginia by September 1, 2012: Albright Power Station, Willow Island Power Station, and Rivesville Power Station. The total capacity of the regulated plants is 660 megawatts (MW), about 3 percent of FirstEnergy’s total regulated and competitive generation portfolio. Recently, the plants had served mostly as peaking facilities, generating around less than 1 percent of the electricity produced by FirstEnergy over the past three years. The company said the decision to close the plants was based on the EPA's Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) that were recently finalized, and other environmental regulations.[3]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Willow Island Power Station

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.[4] 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.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Willow Island Power Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 22 $160,000,000
Heart attacks 35 $3,900,000
Asthma attacks 340 $18,000
Hospital admissions 16 $390,000
Chronic bronchitis 13 $5,800,000
Asthma ER visits 17 $6,000

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

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