TVA moving away from coal | Environment
Even as the half-century old Allen Steam Plant in Memphis continued to consume coal to create electricity for the Mid-South, TVA officials gathered at the other end of the state to dedicate the new John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant near Rogersville, TN.
The sleek new plant burns natural gas, and when added to the several other recently-added plants the Tennessee Valley Authority is now producing only one-third of its power from coal-fired facilities - a big change from fiscal 2011, when coal accounted for 52 percent of TVA's power generation.
The shift away from coal is part of a larger national trend, spurred on by the availability of cheap natural gas deposits that are now extracted by new shale-fracturing processes. Federal air pollution standards have become increasingly stringent as well, contributing to the move to cleaner-burning natural gas.
During the just completed 2012 fiscal year, TVA's consumption of gas increased by 70 percent while its consumption of coal dropped 30 percent.
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