Tennessee Valley Authority to Shutter 3,000 Megawatts of Coal-Generating Capacity

In addition to producing 'green' fuel, the Blue Flint ethanol plant in North Dakota is participating in stopping wastefulness by using the steam generated by the neighboring coal plant, pictured July 16 2009 in Underwood, North Dakota, as its source of energy.' 
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Clare Foran
Nov. 14, 2013, 10:26 a.m.

The Ten­ness­ee Val­ley Au­thor­ity board voted Thursday to de­com­mis­sion more than 3,000 mega­watts of coal-gen­er­at­ing ca­pa­city at three coal-fired power plants in Alabama and Ken­tucky.

The plants set to be af­fected by the de­cision are the Wid­ows Creek Power Plant and the Col­bert Fossil Plant in Alabama and the Para­dise Fossil Plant in Ken­tucky.

Ac­cord­ing to data com­piled by SNL Fin­an­cial, ap­prox­im­ately 180,000 mega­watts of coal-burn­ing ca­pa­city have been taken off-line in the past five years, not in­clud­ing the more than 3,000 mega­watts set to be shut down after the latest TVA de­cision.

Coal-fired plants face steep com­pet­i­tion from cheap nat­ur­al gas. Coal has also come un­der threat from pro­posed En­vir­on­ment­al Pro­tec­tion Agency reg­u­la­tions as well as the need to com­ply with the agency’s Mer­cury and Air Tox­ics Stand­ards.

The Si­erra Club cheered the de­cision, say­ing that it signaled a move by one of the na­tion’s largest util­it­ies away from coal-powered elec­tri­city.

“TVA was foun­ded dur­ing the Great De­pres­sion to bring low-cost power and in­nov­a­tion to the Val­ley; the fact that the util­ity is opt­ing out of coal makes it abund­antly clear that this is an out­dated fuel source that no longer be­longs in our en­ergy mix,” Ver­ena Owen, a vo­lun­teer with Si­erra’s Bey­ond Coal cam­paign, said in a state­ment.


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