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E.ON

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E.ON
Type Public (NYSEEON)
Headquarters World:
E.ON-Platz 1
40479 Düsseldorf
Germany
U.S.:
220 West Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202
Area served World: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, U.K.
U.S.: KY, VA
Key people World: Wulf H. Bernotat, CEO
U.S.: Vic Staffieri, CEO
Industry Electric Producer, Distributor, and Utility
Natural Gas Producer, Distributor, and Utility
Real Estate
Chemicals
Products Electricity, Natural Gas
Revenue $109.2 billion (2007)[1]
Net income $8.14 billion (2007)[1]
Employees 87,815 (2007)
Divisions E.ON Energie
E.ON Energy Trading
E.ON Ruhrgas
E.ON UK
E.ON Sverige
E.ON U.S.
Subsidiaries Numerous subsidiaries
Website EON.com

Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, E.ON AG is the world's largest investor-owned power and gas company and is the largest among the 30 members of the DAX stock index of major German companies. It came into existence through the 2000 merger of VEBA and VIAG, and its chief executive officer (Vorstandsvorsitzender) is Wulf H. Bernotat.

E.ON is one of the major public utility companies in Europe, and the world’s largest investor-owned energy service provider.

E.ON is on track to transform itself from a conglomerate into a multi-utility. Subsidiary E.ON Energie is one of Germany's top two power companies (running neck and neck with RWE), with some 12 million electricity, natural gas, and water customers in Central Europe; the unit also has about 28,200 MW of electric generating capacity and serves energy customers throughout continental Europe. Other utility subsidiaries include E.ON UK, E.ON Kraftwerke, E.ON U.S., and E.ON Nordic.

In the United States, E.ON bought Kentucky-based Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E Energy) in 2003 - renaming it E.ON U.S., which is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. In June 2010, Pennsylvania Power and Light (PPL) announced plans to buy two Kentucky utilities for $7.6 billion from E.ON: Louisville Gas & Electric and Kentucky Utilities, giving PPL an additional 1.2 million customers.[2]

EPA releases list of 44 "high hazard" coal ash dumps

In response to demands from environmentalists as well as Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, the EPA made public a list of 44 "high hazard potential" coal waste dumps. The rating applies to sites at which a dam failure would most likely cause loss of human life, but does not include an assessment of the likelihood of such an event. E.ON owns 6 of the sites, all of which are located in Kentucky.[3]

The following table is derived from EPA's official list of Coal Combustion Residue (CCR) Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings. To see the full list of sites, see Coal waste.[4]

Company Facility Name Unit Name Location
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company E.W. Brown Generating Station Auxiliary Pond Harrodsburg, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company E.W. Brown Generating Station Ash Pond Harrodsburg, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Gypsum Stacking Facility Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Ash Pond Basin 1 Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Kentucky Utilities Company Ghent Generating Station Ash Pond Basin 2 Ghent, KY
E.ON-owned Louisville Gas and Electric Co Cane Run Station Ash Pond Louisville, KY
Eastside Climate Action activists blockade E.ON's headquarters in Nottingham on April 1, 2008.

April 1, 2008: Eastside Climate Action blockade of E.ON headquarters in Nottingham

On April 1, 2008, as part of the Fossil Fools International Day of Action, 30 activists with Eastside Climate Action blockaded the front entrance of E.ON's headquarters in Nottingham, England. Two people used U-locks to lock themselves to the front door, while others blockaded the back entrance; other protestors poured green paint on themselves, to simulate E.ON's "greenwashing". The action was in protest of E.ON's plans to build the Kingsnorth coal-fired power plant - the first new coal plant in the UK in 50 years. Police made two arrests, and the building was shut down for the day.[5][6]

E.ON Loses Greenpeace Trial

In September, 2008, E.ON suffered a humiliating defeat in its attempt to have six Greenpeace protesters convicted of criminal damage for painting a slogan on the coal-fired Kingsnorth Power Station in the United Kingdom. The six argued that they had a "lawful excuse" for their action in trying to prevent further damage to the global climate. The defendants called evidence from the world's leading climate scientist, James Hansen, who argued that there should be a moratorium on new coal-fired power stations and a phase out of existing coal-fired power stations in the absence of carbon capture and storage of emissions. E.ON currently has plans for thirteen new coal-fired power stations across Europe. In March 2008, PR Week UK reported that E.ON UK had hired the PR firm Edelman to "counter opposition from green campaigners."[7] In response to the jury's verdict E.ON UK stated that they were "surprised and disappointed" at the decision. [8]

Protest against E.ON's Ratcliffe plant

On August 31, 2009, Climate Camp activists announced a planned action against the Ratcliffe coal-fired power plant in central England. The protesters hope to shut down the plant in a mass protest scheduled for October 17 and 18, 2009. Activist Charlotte Johnson said, "We will shut Ratcliffe by land, water and air. People will break into the plant and occupy the chimney. Coal power stations must be shut permanently if we are to have any chance of stopping catastrophic climate change." A spokesman for E.ON said the company will work with police to ensure the plant remains in operation. Ratliffe ranks 18th on a list of the most polluting power plants in Europe in 2008.[9]

During the action, hundreds of protesters tried to break through a security fence surrounding the plant. Police arrested more than 50 activists.[10]

E.ON shelves expansion plans for Kingsnorth Power Station

In October 2009, E.ON announced it was postponing plans to build a new coal plant at Kingsnorth Power Station. The company cited the economic downturn, but said that the plant could still be built if economic conditions become more favorable within the next two to three years.[11]

Power portfolio

Out of its total 11,159 megawatts (MW) of U.S. electric generating capacity in 2005 (1.05% of the U.S. total), E.ON produces 74.8% from coal, 22.8% from natural gas, 1.4% from oil, and 1.0% from hydroelectricity. E.ON owns power plants in Kentucky and North Carolina; 97.8% of E.ON's U.S. power plants are in Kentucky.[12]

Existing U.S. coal-fired power plants

E.ON had 29 coal-fired generating stations in the U.S. in 2005, with 8,347 MW of capacity. Here is a list of E.ON US's coal power plants with capacity over 100 MW:[12][13][14]

Plant Name State County Year(s) Built Capacity 2007 CO2 Emissions 2006 SO2 Emissions
Ghent KY Carroll 1974, 1977, 1981, 1984 2226 MW 12,200,000 tons 49,913 tons
Mill Creek KY Jefferson 1972, 1974, 1978, 1982 1717 MW 9,638,000 tons 25,464 tons
E.W. Brown KY Mercer 1957, 1963, 1971 739 MW 4,108,000 tons 45,191 tons
Cane Run KY Jefferson 1962, 1966, 1969 645 MW 3,244,000 tons 17,122 tons
Trimble County KY Trimble 1990 566 MW 4,208,000 tons 830 tons
Green KY Webster 1979, 1981 528 MW 4,104,000 tons 3,399 tons
Wilson KY Ohio 1984 440 MW 4,097,000 tons 9,306 tons
Henderson KY Henderson 1973, 1974 365 MW 2,415,000 tons 5,893 tons
Roanoke Valley NC Halifax 1994, 1995 240 MW 2,281,000 tons 934 tons
Green River KY Muhlenberg 1954, 1959 189 MW 878,000 tons 18,416 tons

In 2006, E.ON's 11 major U.S. coal-fired power plants emitted 50.5 million tons of CO2 (0.8% of all U.S. CO2 emissions) and 187,000 tons of SO2 (1.2% of all U.S. SO2 emissions).

Proposed U.S. coal unit closures

According to long-range planning documents filed in mid-April 2011 with the Public Service Commission, LG&E Energy and Kentucky Utilities Company are making initial plans to retire coal-burning units at three aging power plants by 2016, including the Cane Run Station in western Louisville, KU's Green River Generating Station in Central City in Western Kentucky, and KU's Tyrone Generating Station in Versailles, which has already been mothballed temporarily. A PPL spokeswoman for the two companies, Chris Whelan, said: “This is not a final decision," calling the planning document “a snapshot in time” to keep state regulators up to speed on the company's long-range thinking. In all, 979 megawatts of coal-burning capacity would be retired in 2016, while the two utilities would add 2,721 megawatts from natural gas — though it's not clear yet where the new gas turbines would be. The utilities currently produce about 8,000 megawatts of electricity.[15]

In September 2011, LG&E said in filings with the Kentucky Public Service Commission that it plans to replace its Cane Run coal plant with a 640 MW natural gas-fired plant by 2016, to be built at the same site. LGE and Kentucky Utilities reportedly also asked the commission to approve the purchase of Bluegrass Generation Co’s 495 MW natural gas-fired power plant, to replace their Green River Generating Station and Tyrone Generating Station.[16]

Coal waste

E.ON's Roanoke Plant 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, state environmental inspectors discovered high levels of arsenic, iron and selenium in wetlands at the Arthurs Creek coal ash fill site in Northampton County in 2009, the 21-acre coal waste site for E.ON's Roanoke Valley Energy Facility since 2004. There are plans to eventually build office buildings and a parking lot atop the fill, raising issues around potential contamination from the coal ash waste.[17]

EPA "high hazard" dam

In November 2011, the EPA released a new set of data that revealed 181 “significant” hazard dams in 18 states - more than three times the 60 significant-hazard ponds listed in the original database released in 2009. In addition to the increase in the number of significant hazard-rated ponds, eight previously unrated coal ash ponds were found to be high hazard ponds in information released by the EPA earlier in 2011. Because of the switch in ratings after the EPA inspections, the total number of high hazard ponds has stayed roughly the same at a total of 47 ponds nationwide.[18]

According to the National Inventory of Dams (NID) criteria, “high” hazard coal ash ponds are categorized as such because their failure will likely cause loss of human life. Six states that gained high hazard ponds include:[18]

Proposed New Coal-Fired Power Stations

It was announced in November 2012 that E.ON shelved its Staudinger Power Station Expansion project, but did not cancel it altogether.[19]

Articles and Resources

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 E.ON 2007 Annual Report.
  2. "PPL spent $400,000 on lobbying in 1st quarter" Bloomberg BusinessWeek, June 24, 2010.
  3. Shaila Dewan, "E.P.A. Lists ‘High Hazard’ Coal Ash Dumps," New York Times, June 30, 2009.
  4. Fact Sheet: Coal Combustion Residues (CCR) - Surface Impoundments with High Hazard Potential Ratings, Environmental Protection Agency, June 2009.
  5. "Climate Protest in City Centre", Nottingham Evening Post, April 1, 2008.
  6. "Eastside Climate Action Blockade E-ON Workers As Part of Fossil Fools Day", UK Indymedia, April 1, 2008.
  7. "E.ON turns to Edelman as nuclear debate rages"
  8. "Greenpeace Protestors Cleared Over Coal Protest", Planet Ark, September 11, 2008.
  9. "Protesters target E.ON's Ratcliffe plant," Reuters, August 31, 2009.
  10. James Kanter, "Clashes and Arrests at Coal Plant Protest in England," New York Times, October 19, 2009.
  11. "Kingsnorth power station plans shelved by E.ON," Guardian, October 7, 2009.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2005, Energy Information Administration, accessed April 2008.
  13. Environmental Integrity Project, Dirty Kilowatts: America’s Most Polluting Power Plants, July 2007.
  14. Dig Deeper, Carbon Monitoring for Action database, accessed June 2008.
  15. James Bruggers, "LG&E, KU may retire coal-fired units" The Courier-Joural, April 24, 2011.
  16. "Three coal-fired power plants to be replaced by natural gas" Power Engineering, Sep. 15, 2011.
  17. "Unlined Landfills?: The Story of Coal Ash Waste in our Backyard" Sierra Club North Carolina Report, April 7, 2010.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ken Ward Jr., "EPA data reveals more dangerous coal ash ponds" Coal Tattoo, Oct. 31, 2011.
  19. "E.ON reaffirms earnings forecast for 2012, will review medium-term guidance" E.ON, November 13, 2012.

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External Articles

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