Elmer Smith Power Plant

U.S. Highway 144

Since 1964, OMU has operated its own coal-fired electric generating facility, the Elmer Smith Station, located on Highway 144.

Although the plant was maintained for efficient and reliable operation, operation and maintenance costs significantly increased in recent years.  Increasing costs of compliance with new and emerging environmental requirements along with historically low natural gas prices and wholesale power market prices remaining at low levels, and increasing use of renewables were also determining factors in the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) resulting in the decision that the long-term continued operation of the units was no longer in the best interest of OMU.

As a result, ESS Unit 1 was shut down in June 2019 and ESS Unit 2 was shut down on May 29, 2020.  OMU has entered into a Purchase Power Agreement (PPA) with Big Rivers Electric Company (BREC) beginning in June 2020 through the end of 2027.  During this time, OMU will perform another Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) study to determine the best option for supplying power to its customers in the future.

OMU initially developed a two-year decommissioning plan for ESS that began in June 2020 and would be completed by the end of FY 2022.  In addition to the ESS Power Plant, the Plant 1 Power Plant, and Plant A Water Treatment (both located next to Daviess County Middle School) will be demolished.  The demolition of ESS is expected to take approximately 12 months while the demolition of Plant 1 and Plant A is expected to take approximately 18 months.