Lawrence Energy Center (Kansas)

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Lawrence Energy Center is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Westar Energy near Lawrence, Kansas.

Unit 3 was retired on December 31, 2015.[1][2]


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Coal Supply

In its 2008 annual report, Westar stated that "We purchase coal under a contract with Arch Coal, Inc. (Arch). The current contract with Arch is expected to provide 100% of the coal requirement for these energy centers through 2010. BNSF transported coal for these energy centers from Wyoming under a contract that expired in December 2008. We have reached a mutual agreement of understanding with BNSF for the continuing provision of coal transportation to these energy centers until we finalize a long-term contract. During 2008, the average delivered cost of all coal burned in the Lawrence units was approximately $1.22 per MMBtu, or $21.56 per ton."[3]

Plant Data

  • Owner/Parent Company: Westar Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 566 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 49 MW (1955), 114 MW (1960), 403 MW (1971)
  • Location: 1250 North 1800 Rd., Lawrence, KS 66044
  • GPS Coordinates: 39.0114, -95.2764
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 4,181,452 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 2,612 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 4,671 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 174 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Lawrence Energy Center

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] The study found that over 13,000 deaths and tens of thousands of cases of chronic bronchitis, acute bronchitis, asthma-related episodes and asthma-related emergency room visits, congestive heart failure, acute myocardial infarction, dysrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, chronic lung disease, peneumonia each year are attributable to fine particle pollution from U.S. coal-fired power plants. Fine particle pollution is formed from a combination of soot, acid droplets, and heavy metals formed from sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, and soot. Among those particles, the most dangerous are the smallest (smaller than 2.5 microns), 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. 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.

The table below estimates the death and illness attributable to the Lawrence Energy Center. 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 the Lawrence Energy Center

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 9 $63,000,000
Heart attacks 13 $1,500,000
Asthma attacks 150 $8,000
Hospital admissions 6 $150,000
Chronic bronchitis 5 $2,400,000
Asthma ER visits 10 $4,000

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

Articles and Resources

Sources

  1. "Form 10-K," SEC, Feb 2016
  2. Form EIA-860 Data - Schedule 3, 'Generator Data' US EIA, 2014
  3. Westar Energy, Westar Energy 2008 Annual Report", Westar Energy, page 10. (Page 12 of the pdf).
  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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