TVA Dedicates Lagoon Creek Combined Cycle Gas Power Plant
June 9, 2011
BROWNSVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority's newest power facility — the Lagoon Creek Combined Cycle Plant — was dedicated in a ceremony Thursday.
Though the 550-megawatt, combined cycle natural gas plant began operating last fall, Thursday's dedication officially marked Lagoon Creek's status change from a development and construction project to a fully operational power plant. Local, state and federal officials joined TVA representatives for the event.
TVA Chief Operating Officer Bill McCollum said the new facility was tested during severe storms in April and rose to the challenge.
"Lagoon Creek already has proven its value, and we'll continue to count on it in the years ahead. Since going into service — and especially in the aftermath of the April tornadoes — the plant has been a very strong performer," McCollum said.
The plant employs about 30 staff members and strengthens the western portion of the TVA power system grid serving Memphis and northeast Mississippi.
The new plant augments the simple cycle combustion turbine built at the Lagoon Creek site 10 years ago. Both plants use combustion turbines, similar to jet engines, to produce electricity.
Combined cycle technology captures heat from the turbines' exhaust to boil water, produce steam and generate additional power. Using the excess heat from the engines reduces fuel use and produces fewer emissions.
Another primary benefit of combined cycle combustion turbines is their ability to start up quickly and provide power to meet demand peaks at critical times.
"During this month's early heat wave across the region, Lagoon Creek generation helped TVA avoid having to buy expensive market power to meet daily peak demand," said David Schavey, vice president of TVA Fossil Fleet Operations. "Lagoon Creek and the other natural gas units in the TVA system provide the extra power to meet peak demand and help keep TVA power reliable and affordable."
The Lagoon Creek power plant is the first new power generation source constructed by TVA since the Kemper Combustion Turbine site near DeKalb, Miss., in 2002. TVA has natural gas plants at 10 other sites in its service region, including two other combined cycle plants — Caledonia and Southaven — both in Mississippi. A fourth combined cycle gas plant is under construction at TVA's John Sevier site in Rogersville, Tenn.
The new facilities are part of TVA's plans to add up to 2,000 megawatts of natural gas-fueled generation by 2020 to replace older coal-fired units.
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 that can produce about 34,000 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.
Mike Bradley, Knoxville, Knoxville, (865) 632-8860
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000