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Monthly Output of Remaining Coal Generating Plants in New York State

There are three remaining coal generating plants -- the Eastman Kodak (RED) co-generation plant plus two utility scale plants, Kintigh Generating Station (fomerly AES Somerset) and Cayuga Generating Station. This graph shows the combined output of these plants, and how it has declined in recent years. There were more coal plants in the past in New York State, but they are retired or converted over to natural gas, and are not shown on this graph.

Data Source: EIA Electricity Data Browser. http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser

A NEW COAL-BURNING PLANT OFFERS A GLIMPSE OF A NONNUCLEAR FUTURE

This story from 1984 on Kitgah Generating Station aka AES Someset, illustrate the paradox of what is now New York's dirtest industrial plant, when it comes to air pollution, and requires a landfill that nearly twice as much waste as Albany's Rapp Road Landfill:

"The biggest is in the the cost of preserving the environment. Somerset is described as a $1 billion plant, but actually is a $650 million power generating station, with a coal furnace at one end and a smokestack a quarter-mile away."

"That quarter-mile is filled with a jumble of buildings containing $350 million in pollution-control equipment, a complex of machines and treatment facilities that takes a score of workers to operate, and uses enough electricity to supply a city of 35,000."

"The result is that the long, low plume of smoke that drifts from the 625-foot stack over the fields of cows and crops is relatively benign, the utlility says."

"The sulfur and soot that would normally go up the stack are collected in solid form. And to avoid creating sulfur dioxide, an ingredient of acid rain - which has been blamed for damage to lakes and forests in the Northeast and Canada - the equipment uses large amounts of limestone and other substances to bind the sulfur chemically."

"The result is that the plant produces 1,250 tons of calcium sulfate and 600 tons of fly ash a day that must be hauled away."

"Disposing of this amount of material is not quite as much of a challenge as bringing in the 5,000 tons of coal that the plant burns each day. That required the construction of a 15.5-mile railroad, for $53.5 million, that connects the plant with the Conrail network."

"To supply the monthly electric needs of a family using 500 kilowatt-hours from Somerset, the utility hauls 333 pounds of coal from Pennsylvania to the site, and disposes of 110 pounds of waste."

How dead is coal in New York?

In November 2002, New York generated 2,100 gigawatt hours of electricity from coal.
In November 2016, New York generated 22 gigawatt hours of electricity from coal.

It’s been five and half years (July 2011) since the state has produced more then 1,000 gigawatt hours of electricity in any particular month from coal.

We are down to two utility-scale power plants that burn coal, Kintigh Generating Station in Somerset, Niagara County (slated for retirement) and Cayuga Operating Station in Tompkins County, north of Ithaca (slated for conversation to natural gas).

Indian Point, Units 2 & 3 Monthly Output

Entergy Nuclear Indian Point 2 & 3 are two nuclear plants in Buchanan, Westchester County which are planned to be retired by April 2021. Consisting of two reactors, they have a nameplate capacity of 1,028 MW and 1,041 MW, respectively.

http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=29772

Numbers on the chart are total megawatt hours net output per month, for each plant.

Their peak output is typically during the winter months of December and January, reaching 1.54 terrawatt hours of electricity during January 2008 and 2009. Their output varies a bit due to equipment failure and re-fueling, the lowest output of these plants was during November 2002, when they only output a combined 563 gigawatt hours of electricity. Indian Point 2 was completely offline due an oil leak into river during April and May 2016, which mean that Indian Point contributed only 735 and 775 gigawatt hours during those months.

Data Sources:

Indian Point 2: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/2497/?freq=M&pin=
Indian Point 3: http://www.eia.gov/electricity/data/browser/#/plant/8907/?freq=M&pin=

Coal and jobs in the United States

"There are approximately 174,000 blue-collar, full-time, permanent jobs related to coal in the U.S.: mining (83,000), transportation (31,000), and power plant employment (60,000). (See below for details on each sector.) The U.S. civilian labor force totaled 141,730,000 workers in 2005; thus, permanent blue-collar coal industry employees represent 0.12% of the U.S. workforce."

Coal Mining Jobs by State

The Energy Information Agency estimates that there was 65,971 coal mining jobs in 2015. Of those jobs, 40,045 were underground miners, while 25,814 strip and mountaintop removal miners.

The largest state for coal mining jobs was West Virginia, where there were 15,490 jobs coal mining, with 5,497 in the northern counties and 9,993 in the southern counties.

Data Source: 2016 Annnual Coal Report, US Energy Information Agency. Table 18 Employment by State. http://www.eia.gov/coal/annual/