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TVA's Paradise Fossil Plant is located near Drakesboro,Ky.

The Tennessee Valley Authority will replace its two oldest coal-fired units at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky with a combined-cycle natural gas plant expected to cost about $1 billion.

TVA President Bill Johnson said today that the new gas-fired plant should be built by the summer of 2017 and will replace units 1 and 2 at Paradise, which the TVA board voted in November to shut down.

"We have determined that a combined-cycle gas plant at Paradise will help ensure power system stability and reliability in the northern-most part of our service area while meeting environmental regulations," Johnson said.

TVA has bought or built five combined-cycle gas plants since 2007. The new Paradise gas plant will be similar to the gas-fired plant TVA erected at the John Sevier plant in Kentucky.

Johnson has set a long-term goal of getting 20 percent of TVA's power generation from natural gas, compared with 20 percent from coal, 20 percent from hydro and other renewable sources and 40 percent from nuclear power.

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