The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has announced that it will replace its Cumberland coal-fired power plant with a natural gas facility, despite the objections of environmental groups.
The Cumberland plant consists of two coal-fired units. The first unit will be retired and replaced with a 1450 MW CCGT by 2026; the second unit will be retired by 2028. TVA has not yet determined what the second unit will be replaced by.
A new 32-mile gas pipeline will be built to supply the facility.
TVA said that the transition will cut carbon emissions from the facility by up to 60 per cent. It said that it plans to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. This will include retiring its final five coal-fired power plants by 2035.
However, some environmental groups condemned the plan to replace coal with another carbon-emitting fossil fuel.
Amanda Garcia, Director of the Southern Environmental Law Centre ’s Tennessee Office, said: “Just a few weeks after failing fossil fuel plants caused rolling blackouts across its footprint, the Tennessee Valley Authority is recklessly ploughing ahead with plans to spend billions on another dirty gas power plant. Instead of doubling-down on fossil fuels, TVA must invest in clean energy sources that can reliably provide cleaner and cheaper power.”