Those with the Tennessee Valley Authority and Memphis Light, Gas and Water are energized now that a state-of-the-art, brand new power plant is online.
Thursday marked the dedication of the Allen Combined Cycle Power Plant, which uses natural gas and not coal to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the MLGW system.
TVA leaders said this nearly $1-billion facility not only demonstrates the utility’s stake in serving this area, but the modern plant also insures the air is cleaner and healthier for all of us to breathe.
“This is our newest and most fuel-efficient power plant on the system and one of the most fuel efficient in the United States,” said Tim Hope, TVA Vice President of Major Projects.
Standing out and sprawling out in silver, the TVA’s Allen Combined Cycle Plant is now in service and dishing out cleaner energy to the system’s largest customer, MLGW.
“This plant is a demonstration of TVA’s commitment to Memphis,” said TVA CEO Bill Johnson.
The natural gas-fired plant with adjacent solar panels replaces the now-retired nearly 60-year-old Allen Fossil Plant across the street. Stacks once burned 7,000 tons of coal a day and spewed unhealthy chemicals into the air. But TVA leaders said this new facility cuts sulfur dioxide emissions by nearly 100% and carbon emissions by more than half.
“The addition of this plant and the elimination of the coal plant will allow Shelby County and Memphis area to continue to meet national air standards for years and years to come,” said Hope.
MLGW leaders said this plant services two-thirds of the utility’s average daily demand and is a backup to help customers avoid potential electrical disruptions.
“One of the centerpieces of what we are trying to do is to ensure that we are delivering exceptional customer value, so to the extent that this particular plant assisted with that, we are very grateful,” says MLGW President and CEO J.T. Young.
This TVA plant is not related to the proposed 2019 and 2021 MLGW electrical rate increases unveiled a few weeks ago. Those rate increases would help cover more than $340-million in needed upgrades across the MLGW system the next five years.