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Facts about TVA’s fossil-fuel operations
TVA began its fossil-plant construction program in the late 1940s, and today it has 48 active operating units at 11 coal-fired-plant sites in the Tennessee Valley. TVA has 98 combustion-turbine units at four of its existing coal-fired sites (Allen, Colbert, Gallatin, and Johnsonville) and eight freestanding sites. The turbines burn natural gas or fuel oil. While they cost more to operate than TVA’s other power sources, they are necessary for peak operating periods when the demand for power is high. In fiscal year 2011, TVA’s coal-fired and combustion-turbine units produced about 81.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, accounting for about 57 percent of TVA’s power supply from TVA-operated facilities. TVA has long been committed to taking actions at its facilities to protect the environment and the area’s natural resources. TVA installed scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators at many of its coal-fired plants when these technologies were still in the early stages of development. From 1977 to 2011, TVA invested about $5.4 billion to reduce emissions from its power plants. Of this, $264 million was spent from 2009 to 2011. To maintain compliance with future Clean Air Act requirements, TVA may need to invest an additional $3.4 billion through 2018. To reduce sulfur-dioxide emissions, TVA has installed scrubbers on 17 of its coal-fired units and switched to lower-sulfur coals at 41 units. These measures have helped reduce TVA's sulfur dioxide emissions by at least 90 percent below their peak in 1977. The TVA board of directors has approved adding scrubbers to three units at Allen Fossil Plant and four units at Gallatin Fossil Plant. To reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, TVA has installed selective catalytic reduction systems on 21 coal-fired units. TVA also has installed a variety of other emission control technologies on selected units. These include selective non-catalytic reduction systems, High Energy Reagent Technology, low-NOx burners and combustion systems, and combustion optimization measures. These measures have helped reduce TVA's nitrogen oxide emissions by at least 86 percent below peak 1995 levels. To reduce particulate emissions, TVA has equipped all its coal-fired units with scrubbers, mechanical collectors, electrostatic precipitators or baghouses. In support of recent environmental agreements and its vision of being one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020, TVA will idle or retire 2,700 megawatts of older, less-economical coal-fired capacity by the end of 2017. VA has high confidence in the new completion schedule and cost estimates for Unit 2. The estimate to complete – called the ETC – was prepared in collaboration with TVA’s construction contractors and outside experts. The ETC includes a root-cause analysis of the
piping and other materials still to be installed. TVA has taken corrective actions to address the issues identified in the root cause analysis and move the project forward.100 megawatts of safe. About 290 permanent positions have been added to support two-unit operation of the plant. and the other validated the root cause analysis. to: lead the Southeast in increased energy efficiency. verify the scope of work remaining and confirm the quantity of materials needed. TVA provides financial compensation to cities and counties affected by construction of new generation.400 contractors as of April 2012. support activities. Bringing Watts Bar Unit 2 online will directly support TVA’s vision to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020 and. To validate these estimates.9 million in compensation from TVA Key Topic Coal Combustion Products . two independent assessments were made to confirm the ETC. clean. Economic impact of Unit 2 construction The Unit 2 construction project employs around 2. Not only will Unit 2 help meet growing demand for electricity in the Tennessee Valley. like scaffolding.factors that took the project off track and detailed estimates of the costs and time needed to complete the remaining work. The ETC also includes detailed estimates for: the amount of conduit. five counties and 18 cities affected by the construction of Watts Bar Unit 2 will receive more than $2. insulation and painting. more costly and less efficient coal units that are being retired. and labor rates. it will help replace older. and lead the nation in improving air quality and increased nuclear production. visual inspections were conducted to assess the work already completed. It is estimated that Watts Bar Unit 2 will help TVA avoid coal-fired emissions of 6 million to 8 million tons of carbon dioxide a year. To provide the highest degree of confidence in the cost and schedule forecasts. One assessment reviewed the methodology to prepare the ETC. How Watts Bar 2 will help TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan identified Watts Bar 2 as an essential new source of nuclear generation. In 2012. reliable and economical base load generating capacity to the TVA power system. cable. One nuclear unit can make as much electricity as five to 10 coal units without carbon emissions. specifically. Completing Unit 2 will put an existing asset to work for TVA customers and add more than 1.
TVA has developed a comprehensive plan for managing coal combustion products so no similar event ever occurs again at a TVA site. Johnsonville and Kingston in Tennessee.TVA is phasing out wet storage of ash and gypsum at its coal-fired power plants and installing state-of-the-art dry storage systems. TVA commissioned Stantec Consulting to inspect. economic and regulatory issues that will provide the basis for identifying and setting specific targets for increasing the diversion of these materials. and these will be converted to dry systems. The plan.to 10-year period.5 billion to $2 billion over an eight. subject to environmental reviews and regulatory approvals. In the last decade. TVA is evaluating a number of market. permitting and constructing new dry storage landfills and closing existing ash and gypsum ponds. and to eliminate any storage impoundment’s federally classified high -risk potential to people and property if the impoundment failed. and Paradise in Kentucky. Important points After the Kingston spill. Widows Creek in Alabama. Gallatin. Background Following the ash spill at Kingston Fossil Plant in December 2008. most modern. TVA has beneficially reused more than 29 million tons of coal combustion products. In August 2009. The six TVA coal-burning plants that use wet fly-ash handling systems are: Allen. and most thoroughly inspected in the industry. The first conversion to dry fly-ash storage will be at Kingston Fossil Plant. The plan is expected to cost $1. It should be complete in late 2011. The transition from wet to dry storage will make TVA an industry leader in managing coal combustion products. evaluate and recommend improvements for combustion product management at all 11 TVA fossil plants. TVA plans to convert all wet ash and gypsum storage to dry storage. calls for building ash and gypsum dewatering facilities. Other information All 11 TVA coal-burning plants now use wet bottom-ash systems. Combustion Turbine Power Plant . the TVA Board of Directors approved a plan to end wet storage of coal ash and gypsum with a goal of making TVA’s storage facilities the safest.
The turbines operate like a jet engine: they draw in air at the front of the unit. although lowsulfur fuel oil can also be used as needed.Combustion turbines are designed to start quickly to meet the demand for electricity during peak operating periods. compress it. . They are normally run with natural gas as a fuel. The hot combustion gases then expand through turbine blades connected to a generator to produce electricity. and ignite it. mix it with fuel.
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