Cardinal Power Plant

Gypsum Landfill

Hidden value

The Cardinal Power Plant is difficult to miss.

A byproduct with value 

In simple terms, the act of combustion produces heat, water, and carbon dioxide, and depending on the fuel being burned — in this case, coal — there are other byproducts. 
Ohio’s electric cooperatives have invested more than 
$1 billion in environmental systems to keep most of those other byproducts contained. One such system, the scrubbers, removes sulfur dioxide and converts it to synthetic gypsum. Synthetic gypsum has many uses, and it’s a key component in wallboard used in homes and businesses.

Lightbulb

Adapting to meet your needs

Our mission to provide you with a reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible supply of electricity is an ever-evolving job. For example, our investment in environmental control equipment at Cardinal Plant over the years has made our waste streams cleaner than ever. It also has allowed us to beneficially re-use the combustion byproducts from our coal-fired generation facilities in a variety of useful ways.

Hourglass

Time for a change

Buckeye Power has been the generation and transmission supplier to Ohio’s electric cooperatives since 1968, producing electricity from power plants and delivering it across the high-voltage transmission network (or “grid”) to each of those 24 electric cooperatives. Throughout this long history, American Electric Power (AEP) has been a partner to Buckeye Power in the generation of electricity — first only at Cardinal Power Plant, but adding more facilities as time went on.

Carbon-free by 2035?

Over the last few months, Ohio Cooperative Living has taken a look at why we still need coal — an analysis of cost and reliability factors of different generation resources; a review of the sources of electricity used to power Ohio’s co-op member homes and businesses; an ex

ADDING TRANSMISSION

Hundreds of billions of dollars will be needed to build and upgrade the transmission system to carry more electricity from wind and solar. An MIT study found transmission capacity will need to be doubled, and recent transmission projects have taken as long as 17 to 20 years to complete. 

Cardinal Power Plant

Cardinal rule

Producing electricity for the benefit of the communities we serve requires a continual balancing act among cost, reliability, and environmental impact. We take those often-competing objectives into account as we make decisions and take action.

Electric cooperatives’ decisions regarding the best way to meet your needs for electricity supply are tempered by thoughtful consideration of our responsibility to the nearly 1 million Ohioans whose lives and livelihoods depend upon both a healthy environment and the provision of affordable, reliable electricity. It’s a charge that we don’t take lightly. 

Cleaner coal

Cleaner coal

Years ago, if you drove past Cardinal Power Plant, you likely saw a gray cloud emerging from the towers — that color was caused by fly ash and a few other various byproducts of burning coal. 

Located along the Ohio River in Brilliant, Ohio, Cardinal is Buckeye Power’s baseload source for power generation, meaning it supplies Ohio’s 25 electric cooperatives with electricity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s also a main economic driver in the region, providing more than 300 jobs. The coal-fired plant consists of three units: one owned by AEP and two owned by Buckeye Power. All are managed by Buckeye Power. 

Pair of kings

Stacking the deck

In a game of cards, assembling the strongest hand means having the right card to play at the right time. Depending on the situation, the value of each card changes. It might be best to play a jack, to hold a queen for later, or to pull out that ace in the hole.

Buckeye Power pursues an all-of-the-above generation strategy, taking into consideration cost, reliability, environmental impact, and more when deciding which cards to pick up and which ones to discard. From coal to natural gas to renewable sources, each one is an important part of keeping power flowing to our members. This month, we take a look at the cards in Buckeye Power’s hand. 

Co-op employee at drive-thru

COVID rules

AJ Atkinson arrives to work at Carroll Electric Cooperative in Carrollton the same as he has every day since he was hired as the co-op’s manager of marketing and member services — but it’s different lately. 

At Carroll Electric, that meant a new office schedule that included a rotation of staff members working remotely so that those in the office would be able to maintain plenty of distance. While the full staff has now returned to a normal five-day on-site week, all are expected to wear masks when on the grounds, and office hours have been reduced to try to further limit close contact through the day.

Man working at Cardinal Power Plant

Essentials

Most of us are returning to nearly normal following months of lockdown. I’m thankful that Ohio has seen less severe health impacts than many parts of the country, but we’ve all seen tragic loss of life, a painful economic shutdown, and strained relations in urban communities across the country. This has been a difficult year for many.

I’m pleased to acknowledge with gratitude the many essential workers, who, through all of the chaos of the past few months, have continued to work every day to assure that we have the essentials of modern life.

Cardinal Plant Manager Bethany Schunn and Sustainability Lead Julie Jones smile together for a picture.

Fulfilling our mission

Part of the process of removing sulfur dioxide (SO2) from emissions at the Cardinal Power Plant involves the use of limestone. The process is complicated and can be messy, and when heavy deposits build up in the scrubber, the entire generating unit must come offline.

An employee at the plant suggested adding a chemical to the process that not only would allow for less limestone to be used, it would reduce those deposits in the scrubber — meaning lower maintenance time and cost.