Brunner Island Power Station

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Brunner Island Power Station is a coal- and gas-fired power station near York Haven, Pennsylvania.

By 2023 the coal plant will stop burning coal from May through September (ozone season), and will stop burning coal entirely by 2028. It may continue to burn natural gas.[1]

Location

The plant is located on the banks of the Susquehanna River in York County, Pennsylvania.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Talen Energy
  • Parent Company: Riverstone Holdings
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,559 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 363 MW (1961), 405 MW (1965), 790 MW (1969)
  • Location: Wago Rd., York Haven, PA 17370
  • GPS Coordinates: 40.094167, -76.695778
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Ownership

The plant was owned by PPL. On June 10, 2014, PPL announced that it would spin off its competitive energy business which would merge with Riverstone Holdings' operations to create Talen Energy.[2] Talen Energy launched on June 1, 2015.[3]

Plant adds natural gas capability, will phase out coal use

In 2015 plant owner Talen Energy spent US$100 million to build a 4-mile gas pipeline to tap into an interstate natural gas transmission line for the power station. The company began using natural gas at the plant in 2017. Talen has not said how much it will use natural gas as opposed to coal. The move came as Delaware and Connecticut petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to limit Brunner Island’s nitrogen oxide emissions that form smog, as part of the EPA's Clean Air Transport Rule. Three U.S. Congressional representatives have also asked the EPA to close a loophole that has prevented Brunner Island from having to install nitrogen-oxide controls.[4]

In February 2018, the Sierra Club reached a settlement with Talen Energy that will phase out coal burning at the Brunner Island power plant. Under the terms of the settlement, by 2023 the coal plant will stop burning coal from May through September (ozone season), and will stop burning coal entirely by 2028. Under the settlement, the plant may continue to burn natural gas.[5]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 8,173,709 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 93,545 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 12,754 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 305 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Brunner Island Power Station

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.[6] 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.[7]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Brunner Island Power Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 150 $1,100,000,000
Heart attacks 260 $28,000,000
Asthma attacks 2,400 $120,000
Hospital admissions 120 $2,700,000
Chronic bronchitis 90 $40,000,000
Asthma ER visits 100 $38,000

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

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Talen Energy Agrees to End Coal Burning at Brunner Island Facility," Sierra Club, February 14, 2018
  2. "PPL Corp. to Spin off Units, Form New Co. with Riverstone", Zacks Equity Research (June 10, 2014). Retrieved on September 1, 2015. 
  3. "Talen Energy to launch June 1", The Morning Call (April 29, 2015). Retrieved on May 4, 2015. 
  4. Ad Crable, "Brunner Island coal power plant begins using natural gas; Will it mean cleaner air?" Lancaster Online, Jan 31, 2017
  5. "Talen Energy Agrees to End Coal Burning at Brunner Island Facility," Sierra Club, February 14, 2018
  6. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  7. "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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