TVA Keeps KY Coal Plants Firing

Friday, January 2, 2015 @ 03:01 PM gHale

Flying in the face of the opposite trend, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decided to install additional air pollution controls at Shawnee Fossil Plant instead of retiring two units.

The agency’s agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2011 required TVA to make a decision on that issue by Dec. 31.

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The installations will reduce nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions.

TVA said adding air pollution controls, also known as scrubbers, to two units at Shawnee will cost about $185 million and must be ready to go by Dec. 31, 2017. Tuesday’s decision won’t affect Shawnee’s other seven units.

Shawnee Fossil Plant in Paducah, KY, is one TVA’s most productive plants with 9 coal-fired units, which creates about 8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to supply 540,000 homes.

Since 2011, TVA has spent about $5.4 billion on emissions controls at its coal plants.

Back in August, the TVA board voted to retire the coal-fired Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis, TN, and replace it with a natural-gas facility.

TVA committed to install emission controls or retire Allen’s coal units by December 2018 under a 2011 agreement with the EPA to reduce emissions across its coal-fired generating fleet.

Also in August, Mississippi Power said it will stop using coal at Plant Watson in Gulfport, MS, by this spring.

The move is part of a settlement with the Sierra Club. In exchange, the environmental group agreed to withdraw all pending legal and regulatory challenges against Mississippi Power’s Kemper project and Plant Daniel.

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