South Oak Creek Plant

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} South Oak Creek Plant is a 1,240.0-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station owned and operated by We Energies near Oak Creek, Wisconsin.


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Plant Data

  • Owner: We Energies
  • Parent Company: Wisconsin Energy
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 1,240.0 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: Unit 5: 299.2 MW (1959), Unit 6: 299.2 MW (1961), Unit 7: 317.6 MW (1965), Unit 8: 324.0 MW (1967)
  • Location: 4801 East Elm Rd., Oak Creek, WI 53154
  • GPS Coordinates: 42.843982, -87.828124
  • Technology: Subcritical
  • Coal type: Sub-bituminous / Bituminous
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source: Black Thunder Mine (Arch Coal), Antelope Coal Mine (Cloud Peak), North Antelope Rochelle Mine (Peabody Coal)[1]
  • Number of Employees:
  • Unit Retirements:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 6,505,811 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions: 13,594 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions: 4,631 tons
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions: 351 lb.

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from South Oak Creek 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.[2] 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.[3]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the South Oak Creek Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 44 $320,000,000
Heart attacks 70 $7,600,000
Asthma attacks 730 $38,000
Hospital admissions 33 $750,000
Chronic bronchitis 27 $1,200,000
Asthma ER visits 45 $16,000

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

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