TVA Ignores Warnings In Moving Forward With New Natural Gas Plant

"NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The nation’s largest public utility is moving ahead with a plan for a new natural gas plant in Tennessee despite warnings that its environmental review of the project doesn’t comply with federal law. The Tennessee Valley Authority announced in April that it would replace the aging coal-burning Kingston Fossil Plant with gas amid growing calls for the agency’s new board of directors to invest in renewables.

The board, with six of nine members appointed by President Biden, is expected to meet on Thursday in Nashville, a day after a planned protest by a coalition of environmental groups demanding the utility stop investing in fossil fuels.

Decommissioning the Kingston plant, the site of a massive 2008 coal ash spill, is part of TVA’s overall plan to reduce its reliance on coal. In analyzing alternatives to replace the plant, the utility considered either a new 1,500-megawatt gas plant or 1,500 megawatts of solar combined with 2,200 megawatts of battery storage. TVA concluded that a 2027 deadline for retiring the current plant does not give it enough time to develop the renewables alternative."

Travis Loller reports for the Associated Press May 8, 2024.

Source: AP, 05/09/2024