Cogentrix

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Cogentrix Energy
Type Subsidiary
Headquarters 9405 Arrowpoint Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28273
Area served NC, VA
Key people Larry M. Kellerman, COO
Industry Electric Producer
Products Electricity
Revenue $642.9 million (2002)[1]
Net income $37.0 million (2002)[1]
Employees 533 (2007)
Parent Goldman Sachs
Website Cogentrix.com

Owned by Goldman Sachs, Cogentrix Energy offers electricity and power generation and distribution services. The company owns and operates electricity generating plants. Additionally, it generates and distributes steam. The company caters to textile-manufacturing, pharmaceutical, chemical, and synthetic fiber producing companies.

Power portfolio

Out of its total 574 MW of electric generating capacity in 2005, Cogentrix produces 100% from coal. Cogentrix owns power plants in North Carolina and Virginia.[2]

Existing coal-fired power plants

Cogentrix had 10 coal-fired generating stations in 2005, with 574 MW of capacity. Here is a list of Cogentrix's coal power plants:[2][3][4]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Cogentrix of Richmond VA City of Richmond 1992 230 MW 2,349,000 tons N/A
Cogentrix of Rocky Mount NC Edgecombe 1990 115 MW ca. 1,000,000 tons 264 tons
Cogentrix Portsmouth Facility VA City of Portsmouth 1988 115 MW 942,000 tons N/A
James River VA City of Hopewell 1988 115 MW 1,141,000 tons N/A

In 2006, Cogentrix's 4 coal-fired power plants emitted ca. 5.4 million tons of CO2.

Cogentrix and Environmental Justice

The Cogentrix of Richmond plant has 31,903 residents within a 3-mile radius and 1,977 within a one-mile radius. Within the 3-mile radius, 59.4% of residents are non-white with a per capita income of $17,627, below the U.S. per capita income of $21,587,[5] raising issues around environmental justice and coal. The Cogentrix Portsmouth Facility has 53,186 residents within a 3-mile radius and 4,244 within a one-mile radius. Within the 3-mile radius, 40.4% of residents are non-white with a per capita income of $19,424.[5]

Cogentrix of Richmond and Cogentrix Portsmouth Facility are among over 100 coal plants near residential areas.

Cogentrix and Coal Ash Waste

According to the 2010 report "Unlined Landfills?: The Story of Coal Ash Waste in our Backyard" by the Sierra Club North Carolina, about 45,000 tons of coal ash from small power plants owned by Cogentrix were used as structural fill on 12.8 acres of land at Alamac Road in Robeson County, N.C.. ReUse, a Georgia-based company that handles coal ash produced by utilities, began placing ash at the site in 1992 without state authorization. State tests of groundwater near the site found levels of contaminants exceeding state groundwater standards. In 1993, the North Carolina Division of Solid Waste Management issued a notice of violation, stating that tests showed "levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, selenium, sulfate and total dissolved solids" exceeding safety standards. In response, ReUse removed the coal ash from the site in 1995, with plans to use at an agricultural demonstration project testing the ability of coal ash to enhance crop yields. As of 2010, the EPA's new proposals for coal ash regulation do not address the agricultural use of coal ash, but the agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are currently studying such uses and are scheduled to release a report of their findings in 2012.[6]

Beginning in 1994 in Nash County, N.C., ReUse placed coal ash from Cogentrix plants as fill on property along Highway 301. In 1996, the company got special permission from the Division of Waste Management to also use ash from a facility burning a mix of coal and shredded tires, which contain arsenic and other toxic substances. A 2004 letter from the state agency to ReUse, which by then had changed its named to Full Circle Solutions, reported that arsenic and lead levels at the site were almost three to four times the state standard for groundwater, and that the coal ash was migrating.[6]

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 Cogentrix Energy Inc. 10K, filed March 31, 2003.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  3. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  4. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  5. 5.0 5.1 United States - Income and Poverty in 1999: 2000, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Unlined Landfills?: The Story of Coal Ash Waste in our Backyard" Sierra Club North Carolina Report, April 7, 2010.

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