Corette Plant

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} J.E. Corette Plant was a coal-fired power station owned and operated by PPL near Billings, Montana. The plant was shut down in 2015.

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In September 2012 PPL said the Corette Plant will be mothballed starting in April 2015 because it will cost too much to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's Mercury and Air Toxics Standard that take effect in April 2015. PPL spokesman David Hoffman also said the plant had been off line "a substantial period of time" in 2012 because of the oversupply of power in the Northwest markets. The plant will be placed in reserve status in 2015, commonly called mothballing. Mothballing the Corette plant, rather than shutting it down permanently, gives PPL Montana the opportunity to resume operations at some point if conditions change.[1]

However in February 2015 PPL said it was shutting down the plant permanently by August 2015.[2]

Plant Data

  • Owner: PPL Montana LLC
  • Parent Company: PPL
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 173 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 173 MW (1968)
  • Location: 301 Charlene St., Billings, MT 59107
  • GPS Coordinates: 45.77623, -108.48085
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:

Emissions Data

  • 2006 CO2 Emissions: 1,522,728 tons
  • 2004 SO2 Emissions: 3,584 tons[3]
  • 2006 SO2 Emissions per MWh:
  • 2004 NOx Emissions: 2,066 tons[3]
  • 2004 Mercury Emissions: 34.98 lb.[3]

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Corette 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.[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 the Corette Plant

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 6 $45,000,000
Heart attacks 10 $1,100,000
Asthma attacks 110 $6,000
Hospital admissions 4 $110,000
Chronic bronchitis 4 $1,700,000
Asthma ER visits 9 $2,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. "PPL Montana to mothball Corette power plant in 2015," Billings Gazette, Sep. 20, 2012.
  2. "PPL Montana Will Retire J.E. Corette Power Plant," PPL Montana, 02-10-2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, eGRID2006 Version 2.1 Plant File (Year 2004 Data)
  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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