TVA board approves retirement of coal-fired generation

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Feb. 14 approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 and the Bull Run facility.

The decision “will help ensure continued reliability while maintaining rates as low as feasible,” TVA said, and was made after a detailed review of fuel, transmission, economic and environmental impacts, as well as reviewing public input.

TVA said that Paradise Unit 3 and the Bull Run facility are older coal generating units “that were not designed to efficiently respond to today’s continually fluctuating power needs of customers.”

TVA’s Paradise Fossil Plant is located in western Kentucky on the Green River near the village of Paradise. Paradise Units 1 and 2 were retired in 2017. Unit 3, which became operational in 1970, has a capacity of 1,150 megawatts.

The Bull Run Fossil Plant is located on Bull Run Creek near Oak Ridge, Tenn. It is the only single-generator coal-fired power plant in the TVA system. The plant, which has a summer net capability of 881 MW, went into operation in 1967.

TVA said the board also approved new renewable solutions that will better equip TVA and local power companies with the flexibility to meet changing customer needs.

“Over the past six months, TVA has worked with solar developers to add 674 megawatts of additional renewable energy to meet customer requests, and this trend is continuing to grow,” said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson. “TVA and local power companies are partnering on research projects that will help us better address the desire for choice in energy while continuing the benefits of reliable, low-cost public power for the Valley.”

TVA’s draft Integrated Resource Plan “points to an even greater movement toward solar energy balanced by other generation sources over the next 20 years,” TVA said. The draft IRP will be released for additional public comment on Feb. 15.

TVA’s current generation portfolio is 37% nuclear, 24% coal, 20% natural gas, 9% hydro, 3% wind/solar and 7% energy efficiency.

Lyash named TVA President and CEO

The TVA board also announced that Jeffrey Lyash will become President and CEO of TVA, effective April 2019, succeeding Johnson, who has served as TVA’s second President and CEO since 2013. 

Lyash is president and CEO of Ontario Power Generation Inc., one of the largest electrical generating companies in Canada. He was formerly President of CB&I Power and Executive Vice President of Energy Supply for Duke Energy. He began his career in the utility industry in 1981 and joined Progress Energy in 1993.

Before joining Progress Energy, Lyash worked for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in a number of senior technical and management positions throughout the northeast United States and in Washington, D.C. He has held a Senior Reactor Operator License from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. 

Lyash is currently Chair of the Electric Power Research Institute.