Southwest Power Station Unit 2

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This article is part of the Coal Issues portal on SourceWatch, a project of CoalSwarm and the Center for Media and Democracy. See here for help on adding material to CoalSwarm.

In Nov. 2004, Springfield voters rejected the Southwest power plant, but City Utilities of Springfield (SCU) put the plant on the ballot as a special election in June 2006, at which point the vote passed.[1]

On Aug. 24, 2006, the Sierra Club appealed a Missouri judge’s decision to allow City Utilities of Springfield to go forward with plans to build Southwest II.[2] In August 2007, the Missouri Supreme Court declined to hear Sierra Club’s appeal of the permit.[3]

City Councilman Doug Burlison initiated a petition asking state auditors to consider whether the way SCU handled the permit was improper; the petition gathered 5,874 signatures, more than the 5,000 necessary to force a state audit. State Auditor Susan Montee’s 73-page report, released Dec. 18, 2007, criticizes SCU for behaving more like a corporation than a public utility, and suggests that SCU contributions to local organizations may violate the Missouri State Constitution. The Missouri Attorney General will be responsible for any final decision on SCU’s practices.[4]

The plant began operating in November 2010, and began producing power commercially in January 2011.[5] The plant burns about 87,000 pounds of coal an hour at full power.[6]

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Project Details

Sponsor: Springfield City Utilities
Location: Springfield, MO
Capacity: 330 MW
Type: Conventional pulverized coal
Projected in service: 2011
Status: Operating November 2010


Citizen Groups



  1. "Southwest 2: This Time, Voters Say Yes", News Leader, June 7, 2006.
  2. "Permit Errors and Future Pollution Levels Prompt Sierra Club Appeal", Missouri Sierra Club, September 2006.
  3. "Highest Court Last Resort for Sierra Club in Mo. Coal-Plant Duel", LegalNewsline, August 23, 2007.
  4. “Audit Criticizes CU; Utility Fires Back", News-Leader, December 19, 2007.
  5. "New coal-fired power plant begins producing electricity in southwest Missouri" KSPR, Nov. 9, 2010.
  6. Wes Johnson, "Southwest 2 power plant now burning coal", Nov. 20, 2010.

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