TVA Dismantles Watts Bar Fossil Plant
December 22, 2011
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee Valley Authority expects to save more than $1 million a year in maintenance costs by tearing down the old Watts Bar fossil plant near Spring City, Tenn.
“By doing the deconstruction now, we are taking advantage of a strong market for scrap metals, which will help keep the cost of the project very low,” said Robert Fisher, TVA senior vice president for Fossil Generation.
Deconstruction of the long-dormant plant began in July and will cost about $1.2 million, roughly the same amount TVA has been spending every year to keep the building safely standing. More than 90 percent of the building materials are being sold to recycling facilities or reused in some form, including all the metals, to help defray the costs of dismantling the facility. Work should be completed by Dec. 23.
“The structure had become a drain on TVA’s resources and a potential safety hazard,” Fisher added.
Watts Bar was the first coal plant built by TVA and began operation in 1942. More than 150 people worked at the plant when it was running. It had four units that produced a total of 260 megawatts for the TVA system. The plant was removed from service in the 1980s and was used as a training facility until 1992.
TVA will retain ownership of the property, which adjoins Watts Bar Nuclear Plant and Watts Bar Dam.
Watts Bar is one of two fossil plants TVA has dismantled this year. A former fossil plant in Bowling Green, Ky. was taken down in November.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Scott Brooks, Knoxville, (865) 632-8031
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000