The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) needs public enter because it considers closing two of the utility’s historic coal-fired energy vegetation: its Bull Run plant in Tennessee, and the final coal-fired unit at its Paradise plant in Kentucky.

The Bull Run Fossil Plant, close to Oak Ridge, has been the one single-generator coal plant within the TVA system. The 881-MW plant opened in 1967. TVA mentioned Bull Run’s warmth fee, which is a measure of a plant’s operational effectivity, has ranked as the most effective of any U.S. energy plant 13 occasions, and it has persistently ranked among the many prime 5 U.S. vegetation in warmth fee.

The Paradise Fossil Plant close to Drakesboro, Kentucky, opened with two, 704-MW coal-fired items in 1963. Those two items have been retired in 2017 (Unit 2 on the plant set a report in 2013 for its steady operation) when TVA started working a brand new pure gas-fired plant on the web site alongside the Green River, a facility honored as a POWER Top Plant in 2017.

Unit three, with era capability of 1,150 MW, got here on-line in 1970. It added a scrubber in 2006 to assist cut back emissions of sulfur dioxide. The scrubber at the moment was the most important single scrubber module within the U.S. The unit additionally has a selective catalytic discount system to cut back emissions of nitrogen oxide.

TVA in a information launch on November 19 mentioned it “introduced a evaluate of producing property, specializing in Bull Run and Paradise, in August, primarily based on the long run price of upkeep and environmental compliance, and different elements. TVA should regularly consider its fleet to make sure flexibility and monetary accountability.”

TVA mentioned it has ready separate environmental assessments (EAs), required below the National Environmental Policy Act, for Bull Run and Paradise because it research the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of retiring every web site. The utility mentioned the assessments can be a part of the knowledge offered to the utility’s board early subsequent 12 months previous to choices about the way forward for the items.

The draft environmental assessments can be found for public evaluate by December 19.

Gathering Information

Scott Brooks, a TVA spokesperson, in an electronic mail to POWER on November 20 wrote, “The draft EAs are a part of a bunch of research supposed to offer the TVA Board of Directors data they’ll take into account when figuring out the long run standing of the vegetation. The particular person EAs for every plant concentrate on potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the proposed actions and consider the potential retirement of BRF [Bull Run] and PAF [Paradise] contemplating load outlook, efficiency and total financial advantages and prices. The EAs reference a number of elements together with TVA’s present portfolio wants, deterioration in materials situation, reliability challenges and ensuing want for giant investments.”

Brooks mentioned TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson requested the utility’s board at its August assembly “for concurrence on a plan to take a better take a look at among the vegetation in TVA’s fleet.” Johnson on the August assembly instructed the board: “We are projecting a slight decline in our energy load subsequent 12 months and I consider this can be a everlasting pattern. With the decline in that demand, and the change within the form of our demand [with bigger peaks but less constant demand for power], we discover ourselves a little bit bit lengthy in our era and we now have a mismatch between producing property and energy load form.”

Johnson on November 13 mentioned will retire from his place early subsequent 12 months; he turns 65 in January. Johnson has led TVA the previous six years. He mentioned he’ll step down as soon as the utility’s board finds a successor. Board chairman Richard Howorth final week mentioned the board expects to call a successor “in three to 4 months.”

Analyzing Assets

Brooks mentioned the EAs alone wouldn’t drive the choice on the way forward for the coal items.

Brooks mentioned the Bull Run plant, and Unit three at Paradise, “are amongst…

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