The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: tva solar energy

Spherical tokamak plasma turbulenceSupercomputer simulation of plasma turbulence in a spherical tokamak, which is an experimental machine designed to harness the energy of fusion.  Image courtesy of Walter Guttenfelder, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory and Filippo Scotti, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory via DOE.

Fusion research, natural gas, solar power and battery improvements at heart of TVA’s plans to wean itself off coal

OAK RIDGE — The Tennessee Valley Authority is phasing out coal and announcing developments tied to other energy sources at two plants that sit on either side of Oak Ridge.

One of the options includes a fusion test site. Scientists have long pursued fusion energy, though the technology remains in infancy and has yet to generate electricity anywhere.

The TVA coal plant on Edgemoor Road in the Claxton community in Anderson County closed Dec. 1 last year. TVA remains uncommitted to any plans for most of the land around the plant. A company recently announced, however, that it plans tests connected to fusion power in a small part of one of Bull Run’s old buildings by 2028. It will be an experiment and not generate power directly.

Meanwhile, TVA plans to retire Kingston Fossil Plant on Swan Pond Road in Harriman by the end of 2027. Its nine coal-fired units power about 818,000 homes. To replace the power generated at the plant, TVA plans to build a new complex at the Kingston plant’s site, combining natural gas, solar power and battery storage.

TVA plans to retire all its coal plants by the 2030s.

Published in News


Citizens call on TVA to stop passing gas

KNOXVILLE — The Tennessee Valley Authority in coming years plans to add both natural gas and solar plants to its portfolio to meet what it says are rising energy demands.

TVA’s Board of Directors laid out the federal utility’s plan in a meeting at Norris Middle School in May. Environmentalists at a previous hearing criticized the utility’s focus on natural gas rather than renewables or other measures. Other people, largely tied to local power providers, argued that a switch to renewable energy would be unreliable.

TVA showed a map in a press release following the meeting, showing four proposed natural gas plants and two proposed solar plants. Two of those natural gas plants would be in Tennessee while the other two are planned for Alabama and Kentucky. It stated these new plants will total 3,800 megawatts. It also spoke of its System Operations Center, set to open in fall 2024 in Georgetown to manage the utility’s grid. TVA also stated a desire to research nuclear technologies.

“Our region is experiencing growth at six times the national average, which means we must invest in our current power system and build new generation so we can continue meeting our region’s demand,” said TVA president and CEO Jeff Lyash.

Several citizens criticized TVA’s focus on natural gas plants and new pipelines at the listening session May 9. Among them was Clinton resident and activist John Todd Waterman.

Published in News