Work Begins at Natural Gas Plant in Muhlenberg Co.

Construction started at the Paradise Plant in Drakesboro on the new natural gas plant.
Construction is in the early stages on the new natural gas plant at the Paradise Plant in Muhlenberg County. It will replace two coal fired units in three years. TVA officials say it will also help them meet the EPA's new greenhouse gas rules.

In construction, before building up, you have to dig down.

"We've been cutting down and cutting down to finished grade."

That's what workers at the Paradise Plant's new natural gas plant have done for two months.  Billy Sabin of the Tennessee Valley Authority says the new plant is more flexible and efficient

"They can meet the load demands we have, ranging from the high peaks we have in the middle of the summer to the low peaks that we have, and the valleys we actually have in the evening time, in the middle of the night."

Sabin says Paradise will use half the coal it does now once the new plant is ready in 2017. Less coal used means less pollutants emitted.

"It's got the higher sulfur dioxide that exists, which requires the scrubbers," Sabin says. "It's got all the extra additives that exist that require the extra equipment to bring it within regulation."

Customer demands aren't the only demands they say it will be meet.  Sabin says the new gas plant will help TVA meet new greenhouse gas limits the EPA announced Monday.

"We have been working throughout the past few years, and already setting ourselves up for the decommissioning of coal sites, and the combined cycle plants we've been putting in place, they don't have the emissions that the coal plants do, at least from a carbon standpoint," he adds. "That's what's going to set ourselves up for success in the future."

This will be the third gas plant for TVA. Two others are located in Tennessee.

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