Boilers, Coal, Renewables

TVA to retire more than 3,000 MW of coal-fired power generation, build new gas-fired plant

Paradise power plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors approved a plan last week that will more than 3,000 MW of coal-fired capacity in Alabama and Kentucky. Several of the eight units, located at three different plant sites, were already idled or scheduled for idling or retirement based on an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The board also approved the construction of a natural-gas fired plant at its Paradise Fossil Plant near Central City, Ky. According to the TVA, the construction will result in an investment of approximately $1 billion at the site. Two units at the site will be retired when construction is complete, although Paradise Unit 3, one of the authority’s largest coal-fired units, will continue to operate.

The other six units that the board approved retiring are all five coal-fired units at the Colbert Fossil Plant in Tuscumbia, Ala. and one of two operating coal units at Widows Creek Fossil Plant in Stevenson, Ala.

According to the TVA, the new plan does not affect the fiscal year 2014 budget approved by the board in August and will move TVA toward a more balanced generation fleet of about 40 percent nuclear, 20 percent coal, 20 percent gas and 20 percent hydropower, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The board delegated authority to establish a schedule for the coal unit retirements to TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson.