TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant Begins Operation of Scrubbers

Jun 11, 2010, 15:53 ET from Tennessee Valley Authority

HARRIMAN, Tenn., June 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Valley Authority will begin operating two recently completed scrubbers next week at its Kingston Fossil Plant, reducing sulfur dioxide emissions up to 95 percent.

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This gives TVA a total of 10 scrubbers installed at five of its 11 coal-fired power plants.

A scrubber removes sulfur dioxide emissions by routing flue gases produced from burning coal through a limestone and water mixture. If released into the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide gas forms sulfates that can affect air quality. Sulfates can form fine particles that reduce visibility and can contribute to acid rain.

The two scrubbers added at Kingston will control sulfur dioxide from all nine boilers at the fossil plant, which can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.

"We now have state-of-the-art control equipment on all of our units at Kingston, allowing us to generate the electricity needed by our customers," Kingston Plant Manager Leslie Nale said. "This translates into cleaner air in the Great Smoky Mountains and across the region."

TVA has reduced its total sulfur dioxide emissions by 91 percent since 1977 by operating scrubbers and burning low sulfur coal.

TVA also operates selective catalytic reduction systems on the nine units at Kingston, reducing the plant's nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 90 percent.

Construction on the two scrubbers began in 2006. The first was completed in December 2009, and the second was finished this past April. The scrubbers cost approximately $475 million. TVA will conduct a series of tests over the next several weeks on the pollution control equipment.  

TVA began operating scrubbers at its fossil plants in 1977. TVA has spent more than $5.3 billion to reduce emissions while providing affordable, reliable electricity to the seven-state region.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA's service territory are below the national average.

SOURCE Tennessee Valley Authority