MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority began seeking public comments Wednesday on a proposal to retire the coal-fired Allen Fossil Plant in Memphis and replace it with a natural gas facility.
The TVA said it has completed a draft environmental assessment looking at replacing the Allen plant. TVA spokesman Chris Stanley said the proposal is a step in the process of replacing the coal plant with a natural gas plant.
"It's the best way we can provide reliable, low-cost power in a diversified portfolio," Stanley said.
In May, TVA president and CEO Bill Johnson said the utility would make a decision on the future of the Allen plant sometime this year. The final decision rests with the TVA's board, which could vote on the proposal at an Aug. 21 meeting, Stanley said.
TVA committed to install emission controls or retire Allen's coal units by December 2018 under a 2011 agreement with the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce emissions across its coal-fired generating fleet.
The Allen plant generates about 4.8 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough for 340,000 homes. The TVA says the plant consumes about 7,200 tons of coal daily.