New Castle Plant

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New Castle Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Reliant Energy (now GenOn Energy) near New Castle, Pennsylvania.

The plant has been converted to natural gas.

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Conversion to natural gas

On February 29, 2012, GenOn Energy said it will close seven of its coal generating stations by 2016, citing impending environmental regulations. This included all three coal units of New Castle,[1] which are planned to run primarily on natural gas instead.[2]

The plant was converted to a 325 MW gas plant in December 2016.[3]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Orion Power Holdings Inc.
  • Parent Company: Reliant Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 348 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 98 MW (1952), 114 MW (1958), 136 MW (1964)
  • Location: Rte. 168 South, New Castle, PA 16103
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.936667, -80.37
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,570,507 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from New Castle 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.[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 New Castle Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 41 $300,000,000
Heart attacks 68 $7,400,000
Asthma attacks 630 $33,000
Hospital admissions 31 $730,000
Chronic bronchitis 24 $11,000,000
Asthma ER visits 30 $11,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "GenOn Looking to Cut Generating Capacity … Shawville Plant in the Crosshairs,", Feb. 29, 2012.
  2. "NRG nears permit for coal-to-gas conversion at New Castle," Power Engineering, 09/15/2014
  3. Robert Walton, "NRG completes conversion of 4 coal plants to burn natural gas," Utility Drive, Dec 23, 2016
  4. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  5. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010

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