TVA to finish nuclear power plant, buy natural gas-fired plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA, NYSE: TVC) Board of Directors August 18 began putting into place the Integrated Resource Plan that will meet electricity demand in the region with more nuclear and natural gas-fired generation.

The board authorized completion of one nuclear unit at the Bellefonte nuclear power plant, approved the purchase of a combined-cycle natural gas-fired power plant in Mississippi and announced plans to add emissions controls at the Gallatin and Allen coal-fired power plants to reduce sulfur dioxide and particulate emissions. The air quality controls, including flue gas desulfurization systems will take about sixyears to complete.

"These strategic investments are key to providing reliable, low-cost electricity now and into the future while being responsible, good stewards of Tennessee Valley resources," said TVA President and CEO Tom Kilgore. "To achieve our vision of being one of the nation's leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020, TVA must continue to reduce air emissions, offer a balanced power mix and encourage energy efficiency."

Once it is completed, the $4.9 billion Bellefonte project is expected to generate 1,260 MW of energy. TVA said it plans to install safety modifications at the plant as a result of the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan. It is currently 55 percent complete and is expected to go into operation by 2020.

"Making Bellefonte a productive asset with state-of-the-art equipment will add an additional supply of clean, base-load power to TVA's generating mix," Kilgore said.

The Magnolia Combined-Cycle Gas Plant, owned by Kelson Limited Partnership, is a three-unit, natural gas-fired power plant with a summer capacity of 909 MW. Closing on the deal is expected to happen before the end of August.

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