production can be a dirty business. But TVA is leading the way in showing
the electric utility industry how it can clean up its act.
the first selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system goes into operation
at Kentuckys Paradise Fossil Plant this summer, it will mark another
significant step TVA is taking to lower fossil-plant emissions.
This system is the first of 13 to be installed as part of a $750 million
to $800 million emissions-reduction program. SCR controls remove nitrogen
oxides (NOx) by transforming them into harmless nitrogen
and water vapor. Once complete, these systems, plus boiler optimization
controls and the operation of low-NOx burners, will reduce
TVAs overall ozone-season emissions of NOx by 70 to
75 percent. The agency is also decreasing its sulfur dioxide (SO2)
emissions by switching to low-sulfur coal and operating scrubbers at
charts for larger view and raw data.
These actions will
have a beneficial effect on ozone levels in major urban areas and environmentally
sensitive locations across the Valley. Theyll also help reduce
acid rain, nitrogen deposition, and visibility impairment in places
like the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which faces air quality
deterioration caused by a variety of sources ranging from industry and
motor-vehicle traffic to power production and prevailing weather patterns.
Although TVA is currently in full compliance with Clean Air Act regulations,
the agency is aware of its contribution to the regions air-quality
problems and is investing in emission controls that will yield the greatest
environmental benefit. Fossil-plant improvements like the SCRs are an
important method the agency uses to help balance the need to reduce
emissions with the increased generation levels brought on by peak power
demands during recent summers.
TVA continues to monitor, research, and study data that reveals air
quality isnt what it used to bethat in fact, its better
in many ways than it was 20 years ago.
So is TVA a part of the air-pollution problem? Yes. But its also
an important part of the solution.
and its partners have an impressive portfolio of research on air quality.
In addition to such hot-button issues as ozone and acidic deposition
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, their work also takes in
lesser-known areas like toxics and particulate matter in urban areas.
Their (our) challenge is to reduce these effects within the context
of the rapidly changing utility industry.
Robb Turner, Ph.D., Executive Director, Southern Appalachian Man and