Shiras Station

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{{#badges: CoalSwarm}} Shiras Station is a coal-fired power station owned and operated by Marquette Board of Light & Power in Marquette, Michigan.

Unit 2 (21 MW) and unit 3 (44MW) are planned for retirement on December 20, 2019.[1]


The undated satellite photo below shows the power station in Marquette.

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Plant Data

  • Owner: Marquette Board of Light & Power
  • Parent Entity: City of Marquette, MI
  • Plant Nameplate Capacity: 77.5 MW (Megawatts)
  • Units and In-Service Dates: 12.5 MW (1967), 21.0 MW (1972), 44.0 MW (1983)
  • Location: 400 East Hampton Lake St., Marquette, MI 49855
  • GPS Coordinates: 46.5312, -87.3920
  • Electricity Production: 304,143 MWh (2005)
  • Coal Consumption:
  • Coal Source:
  • Number of Employees:


In December 2017 Marquette Board of Light & Power officials said the Shiras coal-fired steam plant may no longer be a cost-effective generating asset in the long term. The company has installed what they call the Marquette Energy Center, which consists of 3 x 17 MW gas-fired generating engines that can ramp up quickly, which was built after the Shiras coal plant went offline for maintenance in the winters of 2012 and 2013, leading to power outages. Preliminary numbers show the utility could save US$3 million per year by not running the Shiras coal plant. Although the coal fired facility has yet to be shutdown, it has been supplanted by the newer configuration.[2]

Emissions Data

  • CO2 Emissions: 424,147 tons (2006)
  • SO2 Emissions: 226 tons (2005)
  • SO2 Emissions per MWh: 1.49 lb/MWh (2005)
  • NOx Emissions: 275 tons (2005)
  • Mercury Emissions:

Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from Shiras Station

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.[3] 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.[4]

Table 1: Death and disease attributable to fine particle pollution from the Shiras Station

Type of Impact Annual Incidence Valuation
Deaths 4 $32,000,000
Heart attacks 7 $760,000
Asthma attacks 71 $4,000
Hospital admissions 3 $75,000
Chronic bronchitis 3 $1,200,000
Asthma ER visits 4 $2,000

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

Articles and Resources


  1. Planned retirements, Sierra Club, updated June 2019
  2. "Big switch: BLP mulls future Shiras closure" Mary Wardell, The Mining Journal (of Marquette Michigan), December 3, 2017
  3. "The Toll from Coal: An Updated Assessment of Death and Disease from America's Dirtiest Energy Source," Clean Air Task Force, September 2010.
  4. "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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