TVA to Retire Two Coal-Fired Power Plants

TVA's board of directors on Feb. 14 approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 in Drakesboro, Ky., and the Bull Run facility in Clinton, Tenn., older coal generating units that TVA describes as "not designed to efficiently respond to today's continually fluctuating power needs of customers."

The Tennessee Valley Authority's board of directors on Feb. 14 approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 in Drakesboro, Ky., and the Bull Run facility in Clinton, Tenn., older coal generating units that TVA describes as "not designed to efficiently respond to today's continually fluctuating power needs of customers." The board acted on a recommendation to better balance TVA's current generation system with changing energy load demands, and the utility said the decision will help to ensure continued reliability while maintaining rates as low as is feasible.

"Making decisions that impact employees and communities is difficult as we fulfill our commitment to keep power rates as low as possible," said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson. "We value the contributions of the employees of Paradise and Bull Run, and we will be working directly with them and local communities to ease the transition as much as possible."

The board also approved new renewable solutions that the company reported will better equip TVA and local power companies with the flexibility to meet changing customer needs. "Over the past six months, TVA has worked with solar developers to add 674 megawatts of additional renewable energy to meet customer requests, and this trend is continuing to grow," Johnson said. "TVA and local power companies are partnering on research projects that will help us better address the desire for choice in energy while continuing the benefits of reliable, low-cost public power for the Valley."

TVA's draft Integrated Resource Plan points to an even greater movement toward solar energy balanced by other generation sources over the next 20 years; the draft plan will be released for additional public comment on Feb. 15.

During the first quarter of TVA's 2019 fiscal year, the company generated 42 percent more hydroelectric energy than the same three months a year earlier, and it completed the second of three extended power uprates at Browns Ferry, with each adding 155 megawatts of carbon-free energy. TVA also said it safely managed the highest annual rainfall total recorded in 129 years — more than 16 inches above normal, during the first quarter.

The board also elected a new board chair to a two-year term beginning May 19, 2019. Director James "Skip" Thompson will take over from current Board Chair Richard Howorth. And the board recognized Marjorie Parsons, who received the 2019 TVA Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year Award.

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