ACE Cogeneration Facility

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ACE Cogeneration Facility, also known as Argus Cogeneration Expansion (ACE), is a coal-fired power station operated by ACE Cogeneration Company near Trona, California.

The plant ceased operations as of October 2, 2014, and is being decommissioned. ACE Cogeneration was the last coal burning electrical plant in California.[1]


The plant is located on the northwest side of Searles Lake in Trona, San Bernardino County, California.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: ACE Cogeneration Company
  • Parent Company: ArcLight Capital Partners, DCO Energy, and Northern Star Generation
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 108 MW
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 108 MW (1990)
  • Location: 12801 Mariposa St., Trona, CA 93562
  • GPS Coordinates: 35.765543, -117.376214
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:


Originally the project was permitted and constructed by the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corporation, which filed for permission to build the plant with the California Energy Commission on January 29, 1986. The plant also generated 96 megawatts of electricity for sale to Southern California Edison (SCE). The project was permitted by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on January 8, 1988 and began commercial operation in January 1991. The cogeneration plant was intended and eventually did produce steam for use by the Kerr McGee Chemical Corporation’s Argus chemical production plant near Trona.[1]

Over the years the plant was owned and operated by Kerr McGee, Searles Valley Minerals, Constellation Energy, the Indian multinational chemicals and minerals corporation Nirma and, at the time of its retirement, ARCLight Capital, DCO and Northern Star.[1]

To reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the SCE service territory, ACE Cogeneration Company signed an agreement with SCE to terminate operation of the ACE project in December 2014. The plant ceased operations as of October 2, 2014.[1]

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 987,241 tons
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions:
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2006 NOx Emissions:
  • 2005 Mercury Emissions:

The following table gives more info on this plant's SO2 emissions levels, as well as on whatever SO2 emissions "scrubbers" (Flue Gas Desulfurization units, or FGDs) have been installed at the plant. Each of the plant's units is listed separately, and at the bottom overall data for the plant is listed.[2][3]

Unit # Year Built Capacity MWh Produced (2005) SO2 Emissions (2005) SO2 Emissions per MWh (2005) Average Annual Coal Sulfur Content FGD Unit Type FGD In-Service Year FGD SO2 Removal Efficiency
Total 1990 108 MW 764,480 MWh N/A N/A N/A none

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from ACE Cogeneration Facility

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] 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.[5]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from ACE Cogeneration Facility

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 1 $4,000,000
Heart attacks 1 $92,000
Asthma attacks 11 <$1,000
Hospital admissions <1 $8,000
Chronic bronchitis <1 $170,000
Asthma ER visits <1 <$1,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Mark Gutglueck, "Trona ACE, State’s Last Coal Fired Electric Plant, Being Decommissioned," San Bernardino Sentinel, March 6, 2015
  2. Coal Power Plant Database, National Energy Technology Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy, 2007.
  3. EIA-767, Energy Information Administration, 2005.
  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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