Davis Motor Sales banner ad

tva 300MEMPHIS, Tenn. (8/21/14) — The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors on Thursday approved replacing the Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis with a cleaner, natural gas plant that will help ensure continued low-cost and reliable electricity for the greater Memphis area and TVA’s western service territory.

Following an environmental review that received comments from more than 1,500 people, the board agreed to retire the 55-year-old coal plant and replace it with a high-efficiency, 2-on-1, combined-cycle gas plant. The board authorized up to $975 million to build a gas plant with a capacity of approximately 1,000 megawatts, enough to supply about 580,000 homes.

The Allen gas plant will be the seventh combined-cycle gas plant TVA has added to its power portfolio since 2007.

TVA is working under a deadline to either retire or install emission controls at the Allen coal plant by December 2018 under a 2011 clean-air agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, three states and four environmental groups.

“We evaluated our options from financial, business and environmental perspectives and decided this is the best way to help us meet our cleaner air goals and optimize the generation portfolio,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said. “Memphis is our largest customer and we must have a proven source of generation in the city to ensure system-wide reliability while giving us flexibility that allows for future growth.”

Compared with the coal plant, the natural gas plant will reduce carbon emissions by more than 60 percent, nitrogen oxides by 90 percent and sulfur dioxide by nearly 100 percent while taking advantage of environmentally friendly options, such as the use of methane gas and the recycling of gray water from the Memphis Waste Water Treatment Plant rather than using water from McKellar Lake.

“This natural gas plant will improve air quality in Memphis and that is important to the city’s vitality and future economic development,” Johnson said.

The gas plant will be built across Plant Road from the existing coal plant. Memphis Light, Gas and Water will build the pipeline that will supply natural gas to the plant’s two combustion turbines. The exhaust from the combustion turbines will generate steam to drive a steam turbine, making it one of the most efficient power generation plants.

The recommendation to retire the plant came after the utility completed an environmental assessment and a related “finding of no significant impact” for the preferred alternative of a natural gas plant. TVA hosted a 38-day comment period and an open house so interested citizens could voice their opinions. The comments were included in the final assessment delivered to the board.

Numerous options were considered, including the use of wind, solar, biomass, energy efficiency, a transmission-only solution, various configurations of gas generation and other configurations. The recommended 2-on-1 combined-cycle design provided the highest level of reliable, consistent generation potential at the lowest generation cost. Other options were considerably more expensive.

The gas plant will have greater energy capacity than the coal plant it replaces. This will preserve the opportunity to use the gas plant in combination with other kinds of energy sources, such as solar or wind, to meet future demand, assuming they meet TVA’s lowest feasible cost and reliability standards.

“Adopting utility scale renewable resources requires utility scale support behind it, and the new gas plant would assist with that,” Johnson said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.

SurfKY News
Information provided by Chris Stanley

© Copyright 2015 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Sorgho to Host ‘Zed’ Cartoonist

DAVIESS COUNTY, Ky. (1/31/15) — Sorgho Elementary School is hosting a Family Reading Night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb.… Read More

Henderson County Board of Education Meeting Scheduled

HENDERSON, Ky. (2/1/15) — The following is the regular monthly meeting schedule of the Henderson County Board of… Read More

Most Read This Week

January 28, 2015 18255

UPDATED: Several Involved in Two-Vehicle Accident

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News
January 26, 2015 9543

KSP Arrests Two on Child Porn Charges; MPD…

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Trooper Stu Recke
January 28, 2015 7414

Nortonville Man Accused of Meth Possession,…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Madisonville Police Department/Hopkins County Detention Center
January 26, 2015 7181

School Board Votes 3-2 for Utility Tax

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 25, 2015 6898

Juvenile Hit by Vehicle at McDonald's

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by GPD Officer Wes Miller
January 31, 2015 6806

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 28, 2015 6744

Tax Recall Committee Formed Day After School…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
January 30, 2015 6460

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News

Most Read This Month

January 08, 2015 23939

Woman Claiming to be 'Lady Gaga' Tours Town in…

in Top News For All Sites by Madisonville Police Department
January 15, 2015 23498

UPDATE: Fatality Victim's Name Officially Released

in Top News For All Sites by Doreen Dennis, SurfKY News

Stories Trending Today

January 31, 2015 6806

24-Year-Old Killed in One-Vehicle Collision

in Top News For All Sites Touching Hopkins by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
January 30, 2015 6460

More Than 800 Gather to Encircle HCCHS

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Tammy Holloway, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1972

UPDATED GAME STORY: Muhlenberg Mustangs Trample…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Mike Groves
January 30, 2015 1941

Governor, First Lady, Commissioner Celebrate New…

in Top News For All Sites by Office of the Governor
January 31, 2015 1720

Eating Only during 9-12 Hour Period May Help…

in General News For All Sites by Melissa Landon
January 31, 2015 1569

Hooked on Science - 'Chemical Reaction Splash'

in General News For All Sites by Jason Lindsey
January 31, 2015 1484

Keeping the Faith - 'Will Practice Make Perfect?'

in General News For All Sites by Ronnie McBrayer
January 31, 2015 1443

Woman Veterans Video Now on KDVA YouTube

in General News For All Sites by Lisa Aug
January 31, 2015 1434

Happenings and Meetings - Hopkins County

in Hopkins News by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
January 31, 2015 1262

Daviess County Traffic Advisory

in Owensboro News by Keith Todd
February 01, 2015 1256

White Plains Man Arrested after Being Wanted for…

in Local (Hopkins) Top News by Robert LIttlepage
January 31, 2015 1244

Merle Travis Fans Pay Tribute to Thumbpicking…

in Local (Muhlenberg) Top News by Paul McRee, SurfKY News