TVA implodes structures at former Paradise Fossil Plant

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MUHLENBERG CO, Ky (WEHT) – The Tennessee Valley Authority is demolishing several structures at the former Paradise Fossil Plant near Drakesboro, Kentucky.

Wednesday morning, crews set off a string of controlled explosions to bring down silos and storage facilities.

Three structures were imploded early this morning as part of a lengthy demolition process.

The first blasts were heard across TVA Paradise and nearby neighborhoods just after 7:30 this morning.

“Right behind us here, were two coal silos, side-by-side, that we brought down with the first implosion,” said Scott Brooks of TVA.

Those silos and other structures are the latest parts to be brought down during the demolition process expected to take about a decade. It happens after the last coal fired unit was taken offline about two years ago as TVA switched to natural gas fired units at their combined cycle plant. TVA will invest up to $500 million to add more natural gas units in the future. Brooks says it will be a lengthy demolition process due to the size of the old fossil plant.

“We’re going to have natural gas assets out here for decades to come, so we’re certainly not walking away from the site,” he said.

Once demolished, the land here will become a brownfield site, and TVA officials will meet with county economic leaders on its future use.

“My son-in-law is a boilermaker. In fact, he was one of the last ones that worked there,” said Darlene Benson of Drakesboro. Some nearby residents like her say they’re sad a part of the county’s history is coming down.

“It’s sad because this area has depended on TVA for so long. Of course, we were sad when they did away with the coal part of it. It’s a big impact on Muhlenberg County and this area,” she said.

The implosion is one step toward clearing the site by 2029 to make room for natural gas units at the site.

(This story was originally published on September 29, 2021)

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