TVA to retire 18 coal-fired units at 3 power plants

The Tennessee Valley Authority said it will retire 18 older coal-fired generation units at three power plants.

The retirements, which include about 1,000 MW of coal-fired capacity previously slated for idling, mean TVA will have idled or retired about 2,700 MW of its 17,000 MW of coal-fired capacity by the end of 2017. The capacity will be replaced with low-emission or zero-emission electricity sources, including renewable energy, natural gas, nuclear power and energy efficiency.

The coal-unit retirements include two at John Sevier Fossil Plant in East Tennessee, six at Widows Creek Fossil Plant in northern Alabama and all 10 units at Johnsonville Fossil Plant in Middle Tennessee. TVA announced in 2010 that it would idle units at John Sevier and Widows Creek, as well as one of 10 units at Shawnee Fossil Plant near Paducah, Ky. Idling units shuts them down in stand-by status, while retirement permanently removes them from service under their current operating permits.

TVA estimates it will invest an additional $3 billion to $5 billion in the next 10 years on new emission-control equipment and upgrades of existing equipment at its coal plants, part of a settlement announced April 14 with the Environmental Protection Agency.

The agreements with EPA also call for TVA to pay a $10 million civil penalty.

Read more news and features on coal-fired generation.

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