TVA begins operations of 800MW combined cycle plant

Commercial operations of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant commenced recently. The new gas-fired facility incorporates a three-on-one design (three gas combustion turbines, along with one steam turbine) that provides a total generating capacity of 880 MW.

The project was completed a month ahead of schedule and at a cost approximately $30 less than budgeted. The new electric generating facility is located about 50 miles northeast of Knoxville, Tennessee at an existing TVA site with coal-fired units. At the end of 2012, two of four coal-fired units are scheduled to be retired, and the remaining two will be idled.

The John Sevier Combined Cycle Plant is the fifth combined cycle site for TVA. The addition of a gas-fired power plant at an existing coal plant targeted for retirement is becoming prevalent, as sites with existing infrastructure are leveraged for future use while coal units transition toward retirement. TVA will lease the combined cycle plant to a limited liability company, for which it will receive $1 billion in proceeds. TVA will now lease it back over 30 years. The gas-fired plant will have a staff of about 30 employees.