TVA cuts coal use

Johnsonville plant shuts down after 66 years, Allen coal plant in Memphis to be idled later this year

The Tennessee Valley Authority shut down its oldest fossil plant still in operation this week as part of the utility's ongoing shift away from coal-fired generation that should reduce the share of power TVA gets from burning coal by next year to only a third of what it provided a generation ago.

On New Year's Eve, Richard "Mac" Flowers, a 91-year-old TVA retiree, opened the breaker at the Johnsonville Fossil plant to shut down the coal plant after 66 years of operation. The shutdown of the last unit at the 10-unit Johnsonville plant brought to 30 the number of coal units TVA has retired in the past five years at a half dozen fossil plants in Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky.