It was an emotional day for many throughout Southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky on Sunday as the smokestacks at the former JM Stuart Generating Station were demolished. Many memories flooded the comment sections on social media after photos were posted of the demolition, as hundreds of Adams County families had relatives that had worked at the facility.
Construction of the J.M. Stuart station began in 1966 and the facility began commercial generation in 1970 and the plant became fully operational after the construction of unit 4 in 1974. Dayton Power and Light officially announced plans to close the facility in March 2017, however, rumors started circulating about the closures just days after the 2016 election. The plants were closed due to what the company called “economic and environmental challenges” in an agreement with the Sierra Club and several unnamed parties. Electricity generation at the facility ceased on May 24, 2018. A year later, the power company sold the site to Kingfisher Development for remediation and redevelopment.
The facility was known for a relatively good safety record throughout its long history. In 1994, two employees were killed from an electrical arc flash and the company was levied a $295,000 fine by the federal government for hazardous safety practices. In 2006, a worker was killed when a pile of fly ash slipped back into the pond burying the equipment and the worker. On January 10, 2017, an explosion occurred at Unit 1 injuring six people.
At full operation, the JM Stuart Station was one of the largest coal-fired power plants in the United States. The 2,318-megawatt facility employed nearly 400 people and had a total of $60 million in annual payroll.