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AES Shady Point Generation Plant

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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.

Shady Point Generation Plant is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by AES near Panama, Oklahoma. On February 17, 2009, AES announced that it had withdrawn its air permit application for the proposed AES Shady Point II unit, which would have added a new 650 megawatt unit at the same location. Company spokesman Lindy Kiger explained the decision to cancel the project as "part of our broader strategy to re-evaluate our growth plans."

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Plant Data

  • Owner: AES Shady Point LLC
  • Parent Company: AES
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 350 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 175 MW (1990), 175 MW (1990)
  • Location: 3 Miles East of Junction 31, Panama, OK 74951
  • GPS Coordinates: 35.191944, -94.6425
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 2,567,149 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:


The following table gives more info on this plant's SO2 emissions levels, as well as on whatever SO2 emissions "scrubbers" (Flue Gas Desulfurization units, or FGDs) have been installed at the plant. Each of the plant's units is listed separately, and at the bottom overall data for the plant is listed.[1][2]

Unit # Year Built Capacity MWh Produced (2005) SO2 Emissions (2005) SO2 Emissions per MWh (2005) Average Annual Coal Sulfur Content FGD Unit Type FGD In-Service Year FGD SO2 Removal Efficiency
1 1990 175 MW 1,145,092 MWh N/A N/A 1.81% none installed
2 1990 175 MW 1,239,322 MWh N/A N/A 1.72% none installed
Total 350 MW 2,384,414 MWh 26,000 tons 21.81 lb./MWh

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Shady Point Generation 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.[3] 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Shady Point Generation Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 5 $37,000,000
Heart attacks 8 $840,000
Asthma attacks 89 $5,000
Hospital admissions 3 $86,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,400,000
Asthma ER visits 6 $2,000

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

Elementary students protest AES Shady Point fly ash

Bokoshe Flyash Dump #1

Coal Waste Disposal Site in Bokoshe, Oklahoma Opposed by Local Community

Residents of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, population 450, claim that a coal ash waste site run by a company called Making Money Having Fun LLC located in the town is causing health problems among local residents. It has been reported that since the site became active, that of the 20 households in closest proximity to the dump, 14 people have been diagnosed with cancer and many others have died since the site was opened eight years ago.[5]

School children voiced their concerns by organizing a letter drive to send to their congressperson in the fall of 2010. "When I found out that nine kids out of seventeen in my sixth grade [class] that had asthma, I knew there was a problem," said Bokoshe teacher Diane Reece.[6]

In December 2010, students at Bokoshe Elementary in Oklahoma teamed up to ask AES to stop dumping fly ash from its AES Shady Point Generation Plant near their homes. Residents believe that the coal ash has many in their class to develop asthma. The AES Shady Point power plant sits just east of Bokoshe. About a mile from its main street, a 50 foot wall of fly ash waste has piled up over the last eight years. Residents say the ash blows over to their town and covers everything. AES insists that the fly ash is safe and the company has taken steps to better contain the fly ash during transport to the dump site. But Bokoshe residents say they have reason to believe differently: "We feel like it's a hot spot for cancer and respiratory ailments,” resident Tim Tanksley told 5NEWS.[7]

Children affected by fly ash

Other residents claim that cancer in the area is higher than other parts of Oklahoma due to the location of the coal ash site, debris of which blows around the community when winds pick up. The fly ash is carried by truck to Bokoshe from a nearby AES Shady Point Generation Plant coal-fired power plant.

"We have an outstanding environmental record over the past 20 years," AES spokesman Lundy Kiger told members of the media in a meeting at their Shady Point plant.[8]

In December 2010 Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe and Congressman Dan Boren, after being prompted by AES, are being kept updated on the issue and have stated that something needs to be done about the site. However, residents were concerned that AES was calling in a favor to the public officials, both of whom have received campaign funds from AES. Both of whom oppose federal regulation of the substance. AES donated $5,000 to Senator Inofe in the past eight years.

"I understand that Senator Inhofe once said that global warming is the greatest hoax ever pulled on the American people," said Tim Tanksley, a Bokoshe resident. "The biggest hoax ever pulled on the people of Bokoshe, Oklahoma, is telling them that this mountain of fly ash is temporary and will disappear."[9]

More videos available at:

Citizen Groups

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
  2. EIA-767, Energy Information Administration, 2005.
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "Technical Support Document for the Powerplant Impact Estimator Software Tool," Prepared for the Clean Air Task Force by Abt Associates, July 2010
  5. "Why One Community's Cries for Help Against Cancer and Others Diseases Are Going Unanswered" Joshua Frank, Alternet.org January 28, 2011.
  6. "Town Accuses Coal Plant Of Poisoning Community" December 7, 2010, 4029v.com
  7. Jared Broyles, "Bokoshe Students Say Coal-Burning Plant Causing Cancer" LA Times, Dec. 7, 2010.
  8. "AES Comes Out Swinging In Response To Bokoshe Residents" Jared Boyles, 5newsonline.com, December 8, 2010.
  9. "Oklahoma Senator Inhofe, Congressman Boren Take Up Fly Ash Fight" Jennifer Loren, Oklahoma Impact, December 16, 2010.

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