TVA finishes gas plant under budget

TVA finishes gas plant under budget

May 1st, 2012 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

The TVA headquarters building is located in downtown Chattanooga.

The TVA headquarters building is located in downtown...

Photo by Angela Lewis /Times Free Press.

The Tennessee Valley Authority began commercial operation of its newest natural gas-fired power plant on Monday, a month ahead of its original schedule.

TVA said today that the John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant near Rogersville, Tenn., was built $30 million under the original estimated completion cost of $820 million.

The plant is the fifth combined cycle gas plant for TVA and will produce 880 megawatts of electricity, enough to power approximately 500,000 homes. It will help replace two of the four units at the nearby John Sevier Fossil Plant that are being idled at the end of the year to help TVA meet federal pollution controls.

"The John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant is a testament to TVA's commitment to provide cleaner, lower-cost generation," Bob Deacy, senior vice president of TVA's generation construction. said in a statement today.

The first cycle of a combined cycle plant uses three combustion turbines similar to jet engines to produce electricity. The heat from the exhaust of the turbines is captured in a secondary system to produce steam that is sent to a steam turbine, which generates additional electricity, according to a TVA statement.

"During start-up and testing the plant proved consistent and reliable in its electricity production, meaning it is going to be a dependable addition to our generating fleet," said Bob Dalrymple, vice president of TVA's gas generation fleet.

The plant will be managed by a TVA staff of approximately 30 employees.

TVA operates other combined cycle gas plants at Caledonia, Magnolia and Southaven in Mississippi, and at Lagoon Creek near Brownsville, Tenn.