Tennessee Valley Authority to Retire Kingston Fossil Plant

by | Apr 3, 2024

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has officially announced its plan to retire the Kingston Fossil Plant, a key energy provider for over seven decades, and establish an innovative energy complex by the end of 2027. Serving more than 10 million people across seven southeastern U.S. states, TVA’s strategic move underscores its commitment to enhancing energy reliability, resilience, and sustainability within the region.

Transitioning to a Sustainable Future

Under the leadership of TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash, the authority has decided to decommission the nine coal-fired units at Kingston by 2027. In their place, TVA will construct an energy complex that will integrate at least 1,500 megawatts of combined cycle and dual-fuel Aeroderivative natural gas combustion turbines. This project will also feature 100 megawatts of battery storage and up to 4 megawatts of solar generation, marking a first-of-its-kind facility for TVA. The introduction of natural gas generation, scheduled before the plant’s retirement, aims to ensure the continuity of reliable power supply to TVA customers.

This decision results from a comprehensive public process guided by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), facilitating public engagement and thorough consideration of all viable alternatives to meet energy demands.

Leading Clean Energy Initiatives

Allen Clare, TVA’s Senior Vice President for Power Operations, highlighted the energy complex as the most cost-effective solution that aligns with TVA’s goals for flexibility and reliability, saying, “This is the evolution of our energy system.”

TVA prides itself on having one of the nation’s most extensive and cleanest energy portfolios, which includes nuclear, gas, solar, hydro, and advanced technologies. Among its notable achievements, TVA has cut its carbon emissions by 57% from 2005, aiming for an 80% reduction by 2035. TVA plans to incorporate 10,000 megawatts of solar energy into its mix by 2035.

Lyash said, “TVA is a national leader in clean energy, but we know there is more to do. Achieving a carbon-free energy future won’t be easy. There is no one answer to achieving our nation’s decarbonization goals.” Lyash emphasized the importance of expanding renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, alongside developing new technologies like energy storage, low-carbon fuels, carbon capture, and advanced nuclear technologies.

Commitment to Workforce and Environmental Stewardship

The Kingston Fossil Plant, located in Roane County, Tennessee, has been a significant power source, with its nine coal-fired units supplying up to 1,398 megawatts of electricity. TVA is dedicated to supporting its workforce through this transition, offering opportunities for employees to explore new career paths within the organization.

Looking ahead, TVA plans to continue evaluating its coal fleet for potential retirement and replacement, aiming to retire its entire coal fleet by the mid-2030s. This initiative is part of TVA’s broader strategy to support a clean energy system and uphold its commitment to environmental stewardship, economic development, and providing reliable energy to the Southeastern United States.

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