TVA Board Approves Natural Gas Plant In Memphis

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors on Thursday approved replacing the Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis with a cleaner, natural gas plant that will help ensure continued low-cost and reliable electricity for the greater Memphis area and TVA’s western service territory.

Following an environmental review that received comments from more than 1,500 people, the board agreed to retire the 55-year-old coal plant and replace it with a high-efficiency, 2-on-1, combined-cycle gas plant. The board authorized up to $975 million to build a gas plant with a capacity of approximately 1,000 megawatts, enough to supply about 580,000 homes.

The Allen gas plant will be the seventh combined-cycle gas plant TVA has added to its power portfolio since 2007.

TVA is working under a deadline to either retire or install emission controls at the Allen coal plant by December 2018 under a 2011 clean-air agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, three states and four environmental groups.

“We evaluated our options from financial, business and environmental perspectives and decided this is the best way to help us meet our cleaner air goals and optimize the generation portfolio,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said. “Memphis is our largest customer and we must have a proven source of generation in the city to ensure system-wide reliability while giving us flexibility that allows for future growth.”

Compared with the coal plant, the natural gas plant will reduce carbon emissions by more than 60 percent, nitrogen oxides by 90 percent and sulfur dioxide by nearly 100 percent while taking advantage of environmentally friendly options, such as the use of methane gas and the recycling of gray water from the Memphis Waste Water Treatment Plant rather than using water from McKellar Lake.

“This natural gas plant will improve air quality in Memphis and that is important to the city’s vitality and future economic development,” Mr. Johnson said.

The gas plant will be built across Plant Road from the existing coal plant. Memphis Light, Gas and Water will build the pipeline that will supply natural gas to the plant’s two combustion turbines. The exhaust from the combustion turbines will generate steam to drive a steam turbine, making it one of the most efficient power generation plants.

The recommendation to retire the plant came after the utility completed an environmental assessment and a related “finding of no significant impact” for the preferred alternative of a natural gas plant. TVA hosted a 38-day comment period and an open house so interested citizens could voice their opinions. The comments were included in the final assessment delivered to the board.

Numerous options were considered, including the use of wind, solar, biomass, energy efficiency, a transmission-only solution, various configurations of gas generation and other configurations. The recommended 2-on-1 combined-cycle design provided the highest level of reliable, consistent generation potential at the lowest generation cost. Other options were considerably more expensive.

The gas plant will have greater energy capacity than the coal plant it replaces. This will preserve the opportunity to use the gas plant in combination with other kinds of energy sources, such as solar or wind, to meet future demand, assuming they meet TVA’s lowest feasible cost and reliability standards.

“Adopting utility scale renewable resources requires utility scale support behind it, and the new gas plant would assist with that,” Mr. Johnson said.


Yoga East Wellness Center To Open Second Studio At Cambridge Square

Yoga East Wellness Center (Yoga East) will open a second location in Cambridge Square, a mixed-use community located at the corner of Ooltewah-Georgetown Road and Lee Hwy. in Ooltewah. Yoga East will be locating in what is now the 2500 square foot Beyoga Ooltewah studio. The proprietors of both studios worked together to facilitate the transition "We would first like to thank ... (click for more)

Chief Justice Lee, Chancellor Lyle Launch New Court To Business And Legal Community

Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice Sharon Lee and Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle launched the state’s first Business Court to the business and legal communities at a gathering in downtown Nashville Thursday. The event brought together more than 120 leaders in the business and law arena at the Baker Donelson Center to learn how this initiative will enhance the ... (click for more)

State Attorney General Says City Council Cannot Make Taxis Not Registered In Hamilton County Go Through Emissions Testing

The state attorney general's office has ruled that the City Council cannot require that taxis not registered in Hamilton County go through emissions testing. The city is dealing with the new Uber taxi service that has an out-of-town owner. Locally-owned cabs have to go through the annual emissions testing. The opinion says that local taxi owners cannot get around the emissions ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Bracing For Possibility Of Isolated Severe Storms, Tornadoes Not Ruled Out

The National Weather Service is feeling uncertain about today's weather pattern and has not ruled out the possibility of isolated, severe thunderstorms or an isolated tornado in our area. The greatest threat seems to be between 4 and 7 p.m. this evening. Below is the latest update: HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK...UPDATED NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE MORRISTOWN TN 1122 AM EDT ... (click for more)

The Heart Of A Teacher Makes A Difference - And Response (2)

In less than four weeks, I expect to be one of 216 graduating seniors from East Hamilton School. One could say all possible variables help a student rise to the highest levels in school; but a student is more than his environment or genetic code. He is a mixture of his own propensity and dedication to academics, coupled with a systemic team of mentors who give their all as a student’s ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Would Mr. Summers’ Clients…

It was a beautiful day at Orange Grove Friday as the nationally-famed center, which cares for over 1,000 intellectually disabled children of all ages, celebrated its annual “Lunch of Champions” with a packed house in the Bucky Williams Gymnasium. Jerry Summers, who insiders know has done more for Orange Grove than any other man alive, not only emceed the event as he does every year, ... (click for more)