Construction crews have cleared about 60 percent of the land needed to begin building a new natural gas plant at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County. The new plant is scheduled to open by Spring of 2017, and will take the place of two coal burning units currently in operation at the Tennessee Valley Authority facility.
Transition Manager Billy Sabin says this week’s announcement of new Environmental Protection Agency regulations on power plant emissions won’t impact the Paradise Fossil Plant, because the TVA had already decided to reduce carbon emissions at a much faster rate than what the federal government is now seeking.
“We will have a reduction of about 50 percent of coal,” Sabin said. “Because Unit 3 will continue to run, it’s going to burn about 2.7 to 3 million tons of coal a year. So it’ll be about a 50 percent reduction from what we do now.”
Saybin says the excavation stage of the new cleaner-burning gas plant project will be completed by early 2015, with construction of the facility following. The Paradise unit that will continue to burn coal currently meets federal environmental standards and will not need upgrades.