Out with the Old (Coal), in with the New (Natgas) @ Shamokin Dam

The former coal-fired power generation plant at left along the Susquehanna River in Shamokin Dam. At right is the new Panda gas-fired Hummel Station. (Credit: Sunbury Generation)

In July, MDN told you that Panda Power’s Marcellus gas-fired Hummel Station Power Plant, located at the Shamokin Dam along the Susquehanna River, is now “complete” and online (see Marcellus-Fired Panda Hummel PA Power Plant Now “Complete”). Hummel Station is a whopping 1,124-megawatt gas-fired electric plant built on the site of a retired coal-fired plant. The old coal plant is still there, sitting next door to the new gas-fired plant, closed down in 2014. The coal plant is set to be demolished–a process that will take up to two years due to asbestos throughout the plant. In a story about the old coal plant’s demolition, we were struck by the comparison between the coal plant and the gas plant. The old coal plant produced 400 megawatts of electricity, the new gas plant 1,124 MW. The new gas plant produces more than twice the power, but uses 97% less water than the coal plant. The new gas plant produces 90% less sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions than the old coal plant. On and on. The differences are striking! No wonder gas is replacing coal…

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