published Thursday, April 14th, 2011

TVA board to shut down 18 boilers at coal-fired plants, OK’s 20-year strategic plan

  • photo
    Six of the boilers at TVA's Widows Creek plant in Stevenson, Ala., are to be shut down.
    Staff File Photo/Chattanooga Times Free Press

TVA will shut down 18 boilers at three of its oldest coal plants and pay a $10 million penalty to settle lawsuits involving air pollution from its aging coal plants.

By a split 7-1 vote, the TVA board approved a settlement with regulators to shutter six oldest boilers at the Widows Creek fossil plant in Alabama, and the 10 units at the Johnsonville Fossil Plant and two units at John Sevier plant in Tennessee.

TVA also is committing $350 million for energy efficiency and renewable energy as part of the agreement.

“This is an unprecedented agreement with nine separate identities,” TVA senior vice president Anda Ray said.

TVA President Tom Kilgore said up to 400 employees will be affected by the plant closing, but he said TVA will work with any displaced workers.

  • photo
    Members of the board of directors meet at the TVA office complex in downtown Chattanooga early this morning. Staff Photo by Dan Henry/Chattanooga Times Free Press

“We feel comfortable that we can do this because it is planned,” Kilgore said.

TVA Director Mike Duncan opposed the settlement saying it will end up costing TVA too much money.

Separately, the TVA board also approved a 20-year plan that calls for more nuclear power and energy conservation.

One of the power options in the plan could lead to a one-third reduction in coal-fired generation in the next six years.

Previously, TVA official Gary Brinkworth has noted that the plan doesn’t focus on future electricity rates or jobs at the federal agency.

See tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press for complete coverage.

about Pam Sohn...

Pam Sohn has been reporting or editing Chattanooga news for 25 years. A Walden’s Ridge native, she began her journalism career with a 10-year stint at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. She came to the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 1999 after working at the Chattanooga Times for 14 years. She has been a city editor, Sunday editor, wire editor, projects team leader and assistant lifestyle editor. As a reporter, she also has covered the police, ...

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mhbraganza said...

How are those steam plant turbines going to work without their boilers?

April 14, 2011 at 2:47 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

Excellent news. TVA will be investing in clean energy thus saving thousands of lives and helping our planet. TVA has several plants that have no pollution controls. These plants are: Allen Fossil Plant near Memphis, Tenn. Bull Run Fossil Plant near Oak Ridge, Tenn. Colbert Fossil Plant in Tuscumbia, Ala. Cumberland Fossil Plant in Cumberland City, Tenn Gallatin Fossil Plant in Gallatin, Tenn. John Sevier Fossil Plant near Rogersville, Tenn. Johnsonville Fossil Plant near Waverly, Tenn. Kingston Fossil Plant near Kingston, Tenn. Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, Ky. Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah, Ky. Widows Creek Fossil Plant near Stevenson, Ala.

I am happy to see TVA working on energy efficiency programs and cleaner energy. This is a step in the right direction.

April 14, 2011 at 4:09 p.m.
rolando said...

Sure hope y'all are prepared for a sky-rocketing electric bill and total government control of your home power usage through its new fiber-optics control system.

To say nothing of paying -- through increased taxes/electric rates -- for the elimination and replacement of existing/operational facilities with new nuclear/wind/solar facilities...and the long lead time needed to put it in place.

Then there are all those suit settlements...exactly who do you think will pay for those? Thee and me, that's who...again, through increased electric rates.

Folks cannot seem to grasp the concept of TANSTAAFL. That applies to everything the government does...especially what the government does.

April 16, 2011 at 9:04 a.m.
holdout said...

It does seem shortsighted to close the fossil plants before building nuke plants to replace them but I doubt it is as short sighted as it appears. When we are paying double the bill for rolling brownouts the resistance to nuke plants will melt away. For myself I don't mind paying more for my power if it closes the coal plants. Not everyone will feel that way and that's okay. You have to be willing to pay for what you want and I want the nastiness and danger of coal to fade into the same category as whale oil. TANSTAAFL is true but so is inertia and as long as power is cheap nothing will change in how we make it.

April 16, 2011 at 10:45 a.m.
rolando said...

It is more than simple resistance to nuke plants, holdout. The regulations/redtape are horrendous. Still, they are our best real hope once all coal-fired plants are closed.

Somehow it seems wasteful to burn natural gas to make steam to turn turbines to create electricity to heat my house. Why the inefficiency of conversion?

Same thing with electric cars instead of fossil-fuel driven ones for non-urban travel. Bio-fuel is even more inefficient.

April 16, 2011 at 8:44 p.m.
holdout said...

I agree with you Rolando but I don't think the public will be willing to foot the bill for nuke plants until the price of electricity rises and there are shortages. I don't think the process for licensing will streamline until politicians tire of complaints of blackouts from the public. Those complaints will not come as long as power is perceived as cheap and readily available. TVA is doing right here as far as the coal plants are concerned. I also agree that using natural gas to create electricity is a step in the wrong direction. We are going to have to accept the fact that energy in any form is getting more expensive and live our lives around that fact.

April 17, 2011 at 9:35 a.m.
fishfryfishfry said...

Holdout + Rolando, The inhumanity of your comments fill me with disgust. Electricity and energy rates!? I pay for TVA power and here's my take... Sick and dead beings, have no concern for such bagatelles. Grow up, open your eyes, take a hard LOOK at the world around you. Any preventive measure to curtail such unnecessary pollution and limitless destruction is a step for the entire human race. Furthermore, your attempt to limit that universal struggle for the RIGHT TO LIFE to a financial situation merely exposes your extreme introversion and unbridled ignorance. This is a victory for us all. The only problem I see, is that it doesn't quite go far enough. -AS

June 14, 2011 at 2:27 a.m.
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