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TVA Celebrates Expansion of Alabama Combustion Turbine Plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority on Oct. 24 celebrated the expansion of the Colbert Combustion Turbine Plant in Alabama, which brought 750 megawatts online this summer.

More than 100 people attended the dedication event and toured the state-of-the-art facility in Tuscumbia, including members of TVA’s senior leadership team, community leaders, local, regional, and state-wide elected officials. 

The Colbert Combustion Turbine Plant started commercial operation of three new units on July 25 of this year, ahead of schedule and under budget.

Construction began in the summer of 2021, with more than one million hours of work safely dedicated to the project. These hours were worked with no significant environmental events, no OSHA serious events, and no lost-time injuries, TVA noted.

“These units provide needed flexibility, responsiveness, and reliability for the power grid,” Roger Waldrep, TVA’s Vice President of Major Projects, said. “They allow us to meet demand during peak periods, like the extremely hot days we experienced in August and September and the upcoming cold nights that are ahead this winter.” 

TVA said it plans to invest $15 billion over the next three years to build additional generation and upgrade the existing system to ensure the region continues to benefit from affordable, reliable power.

The expansion of Colbert is part of TVA’s larger effort to build more than 3,800 megawatts of new generation that includes solar, energy storage, combustion turbines and combined-cycle natural gas.  

“Our commitment to Alabama has and continues to remain strong,” Jeff Lyash, TVA President and CEO, said. “We take great pride in the facilities, resources, and partnerships we have built in the state. We appreciate the work that takes place daily to strengthen and benefit the communities we are privileged to serve.” 

During construction of the Colbert project, Alabama benefitted from positive economic impact through local spending with small businesses and equipment, contractors, suppliers, and payroll expenses. In the last fiscal year, from October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2023, there were 830 new jobs created, 7,300 jobs retained and $1.7 billion dollars in capital investments in Alabama. 

“TVA made a capital investment of $502.8 million and approximately 450 people worked on projects related to this facility expansion,” Jared Mitchem, TVA’s Regional Vice President, said. “In addition to enhancing the local economy, natural gas generation supports the grid and helps us integrate more renewable energy sources, like wind and solar.”

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