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Coal Plants in Texas, Excluding Gasification Facilities

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The seven conventional new conventional coal plants proposed to be built in Texas are projected by NRDC to generate 3,653,412 tons of contaminated coal waste, including 3,773 tons of toxic metals. Texas ranks 1st in waste production expected from new conventional coal plants, and 1st in toxic metals from those plants.

Texas ranks 1st in the country for contaminated coal waste, with 13,454,000 tons of waste reported to the U.S. Energy Information Administration in 2005. The state also ranks 1st in toxic metals contaminating the waste, with 8,915 tons of toxic metals, based on NRDC estimates.

Statistics for Proposed Plants in Texas

Plant County Estimated tons of coal waste Estimated tons of toxic metals
Oak Grove Robertson 1,314,629 1,372
Spruce 2 Bexar 586,234 612
Limestone 3 Limestone 545,197 569
Sandow 5 Milam 439,675 459
Tenaska Nolan 439,675 459
Sandy Creek McClennan 180,966 167
Coleto Creek Goliad 147,035 136

Another new or proposed plant, the Summit power plant, is designed to use coal gasification, a process that results in a solid waste with significantly lower environmental risk than conventional coal waste. While NRDC believes all coal waste must be federally regulated, because of the lower environmental risk, NRDC lists gasification plants separately from conventional coal plants.

Statistics for Existing Plants in Texas

Plant Owner (primary) County Tons of waste Percent of waste disposed Tons of toxic metals
Martin Lake TXU Generation Co LP Rusk 2,540,700 61.2% 1,903
Limestone (TEGE) NRG Energy Limestone 1,851,500 74.2% 1,145
Pirkey Southwestern Electric Power Co Harrison 1,499,400 95.3% 561
Monticello (TXUGEN) TXU Generation Co LP Titus 1,455,900 66.0% 1,076
San Miguel (SMIG) San Miguel Electric Coop Inc Atascosa 1,282,100 99.6% 308
Sandow 4 & 5 TXU Generation Co LP Milam 907,800 80.8% 546
W A Parish NRG Energy Fort Bend 689,000 41.8% 634
Big Brown TXU Generation Co LP Freestone 655,900 51.2% 722
Twin Oaks Power One PNM Altura Robertson 456,000 49.3% 285
Fayette Power Project (LCRA) Lower Colorado River Authority Fayette 437,200 10.2% 275
Welsh (SWEP) Southwestern Electric Power Co Titus 217,000 24.8% 323
Tolk Southwestern Public Service Co Lamb 211,300 1.4% 212
Harrington Southwestern Public Service Co Potter 205,200 8.2% 220
J T Deely CPS Energy Bexar 195,300 2.1% 185
Sandow Station Alcoa US Milam 192,500 40.0% No Data
J K Spruce CPS Energy Bexar 165,600 24.2% 136
Oklaunion Public Service Co of Oklahoma Wilbarger 146,000 26.7% 138
Coleto Creek ANP Goliad 144,800 43.9% 138
Gibbons Creek Texas Municipal Power Agency Grimes 104,500 2.4% 107
AES Deepwater AES NUGs Harris 81,000 0% No Data
Odessa Ector Generating Station PSEG Global Ector 8,000 100.0% No Data
Guadalupe Generating Station PSEG Global Guadalupe 7,300 100.0% No Data

Percent of waste disposed indicates the proportion of contaminated coal waste disposed of in landfills, ponds, or on- or off-site disposal facilities. For detailed information on how each plant reported its waste disposal in 2005, see the detailed data Excel spreadsheet.

Sources: permit applications for new plants, Energy Information Administration data, NRDC estimates. The most recent data available from the EIA is from 2005 and it is possible that operational changes at particular plants will have changed the yearly waste volumes and disposal methods. Click here for detailed glossary of terms and our methodology.

last revised 3/12/2009

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