The Dirtiest Coal Plant in Virginia
Old Dominion Electric Cooperative (ODEC) – a generation co-op co- owned by 11 regional electric co-ops, including Shenandoah Valley and Rappahannock co-ops – has proposed plans to construct a 1,500- megawatt coal-fired power plant 35 miles from the Chesapeake Bay. It would spew over 110,000 pounds of toxic emissions daily. Pollutants including lead, mercury and nitrogen could devastate sensitive oyster and crab spawning grounds and undermine renewed efforts to restore the Bay.
This power plant would be the largest in the state – the equivalent of putting 2 million more cars on our roads. It would require 26-48 million gallons of water daily from the James River, and would dispense mercury, lead and other harmful pollutants into our water and air.
The proposed power plant would cost $4-6 billion. Economic development in Hampton Roads could be stifled as a result of poor air quality and non-attainment designations. In the past decade, over 150 coal plants have been cancelled, delayed or rejected in the U.S., largely due to increased financial risks.
This plant would become the largest coal-fired power plant in Virginia, resulting in 110,000 pounds of toxic emissions and nearly 60 tons of poisonous coal ash every day. Emissions would include:
LEAD A toxic metal that causes a range
of health impacts, from behavioral problems and learning disabilities, to seizures and death. This plant would pollute 920 pounds per year.
CO2 Carbon dioxide is the leading cause of global warming. The proposed plant would emit 11.7 million tons of carbon dioxide per year – the equivalent of adding 2 million new cars to the road annually.
AIR QUALITY Particulate matter, NOx and SOx: Worsens asthma, decreases lung function, contributes to heart problems, low birth weight and premature death. Particulate matter under 2.5 microns affects children and elderly disproportionately; contributes to heart disease, premature birth, airway obstruction and SIDS.
CROP FAILURE: Pollution plants adversely affects soil and water quality. NOX and SO2 cause acid rain and smog, lowering the pH level of affected soil. Ozone created by the plant can drastically reduce crop yield, particularly in soybeans.
MERCURY Powerful nerve toxin, extremely persistent in nature. Causes brain damage, mental retardation and blindness. Distance to the Chesapeake Bay (about 35 miles) will cause more harm to the fragile region.
from coal-fired power
SOLUTIONS: Virginia has ZERO need for new power plants. A study released by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy reports that by implementing cost-effective energy efficiency programs available today, the Commonwealth would not need any new generation for the next 15 years. Investments in wind, solar, and other renewable technology show great promise in Virginia, and the state has an opportunity to become a national leader in clean energy technology.
To learn more about the harmful economic and environmental impacts of coal, visit http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org
YOU Can Stop a Coal Plant
Whether you’re a member of an ODEC cooperative (such as the Shenandoah Valley and Rappahannock co-ops) or a non-member clean energy supporter, YOU can make the difference. Virginians across the commonwealth have been pressuring ODEC to withdraw this proposal and prioritize renewable energy and energy efficiency for years. We had a huge victory when ODEC delayed their plans for 18 to 24 months in September 2010. But the fight’s not over yet.
As recently as February and March 2012, ODEC re-applied and won approval to re-zone a proposed site for the coal plant in Dendron as necessary to build the plant there. This is AFTER previous zoning had been overruled due to a lack of legally-required notice to the public that a zoning vote would take place. In other words, they actively pursued a step moving towards building the coal plant. In addition, in April 2011, ODEC sought and won approval to test equipment in the James River, proving that they are moving forward with their plans to build a massive, dirty new power plant.
Investing in energy efficiency programs already in use by other local utilities could fulfill all of the co-op’s future energy needs and save members money compared to the $6 billion coal plant. A South Carolina co- op recently invested in energy efficiency pilot programs that could save their members $4 billion in new generation costs.
In 2009, ODEC served more than 445,000 electric consumers (meters) representing a total population of 1 million. That means the $4-6 billion plant will cost $8,989 – $13,483 per household. There are better alternatives.
A study conducted by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. concluded that saddling co-op members with the costs of a new coal plant would be economically harmful to the Commonwealth. In contrast, the Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium determined that investing in just one clean energy source – offshore wind power – would bring up to 10,000 jobs to Virginia.
Join the call for a clean energy economy and take action to stop the coal plant today!
Join us at the 2012 SVEC Annual Meeting!
It’s our one chance every year to address the Board and CEO, and urge them to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, NOT a new coal plant.
Thursday, June 14th
JMU Convocation Center Harrisonburg
Registration and BBQ Dinner: 5pm Business Meeting: 7pm
Let us know you’ll join us to oppose the coal plant at http://www.bit.ly/XXXXXX
Not a co-op member?
The Army Corps of Engineers has the authority to approve or deny necessary permits. Visit http://www.chesapeakeclimate.org to sign our petition urging them to keep coal out of the Bay and reject ODEC’s proposal to build this massive, dirty coal plant!