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Weatherspoon Plant

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W.H. Weatherspoon Steam Electric Generating Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Progress Energy near Lumberton, North Carolina.

The power station was retired in 2011.[1]

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Progress Energy to shut coal plants

On December 1, 2009, Progress Energy Carolinas announced that by the end of 2017 it would permanently close all of its North Carolina coal plants without sulfur dioxide scrubbers. The 11 units at L.V. Sutton, Cape Fear, Weatherspoon, and Lee total almost 1,500 megawatts and represent about a third of the utility's coal-fired power generation in N.C. The retirement plan includes the following:

  • Lee is scheduled for retirement in 2013.
  • Sutton is slated for closure in 2014. Progress hopes to replace it with a natural gas-fired power plant.
  • Cape Fear and Weatherspoon will be shut down between 2013 and 2017. The company is considering converting 50 to 150MW of the total capacity to burn wood waste.

The closure plan was filed in response to a request by the N.C. Utilities Commission, which ordered Progress to provide its retirement schedule for "unscrubbed" coal-fired units in North Carolina. The request was a condition of the commission's approval of Progress' plan to close Lee and build a 950-MW natural gas plant at the site.[2][3]

Plant Data

  • Owner: Progress Energy Carolinas
  • Parent Company: Progress Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 166 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 46 MW (1949), 46 MW (1950), 74 MW (1952)
  • Location: 491 Power Plant Rd., Lumberton, NC 28358
  • GPS Coordinates: 34.592523, -78.977649
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,200,517 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

Coal Waste Site

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Weatherspoon

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 Weatherspoon Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 4 $28,00,000
Heart attacks 6 $610,000
Asthma attacks 66 $3,000
Hospital admissions 3 $66,000
Chronic bronchitis 2 $1,100,000
Asthma ER visits 4 >$1,000

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

Citizen groups

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, Generator Data, US EIA, 2014
  2. "Progress Energy Carolinas Plans to Retire Remaining Unscrubbed Coal Plants in N.C.," PRNewswire, December 1, 2009.
  3. Tina Casey, "Progress Energy Joins Stampede Away from Coal," Reuters, December 2, 2009.
  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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