SEE IT: TVA blows up three huge cooling towers at 60-year-old coal plant

Coal's Last Stand in Paradise
FILE – In a June 3, 2014, photo, the Paradise Fossil Plant stands in Drakesboro Ky. (AP Photo/Dylan Lovan, File) Dylan Lovan/AP

SEE IT: TVA blows up three huge cooling towers at 60-year-old coal plant

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The Tennessee Valley Authority demolished a nearly six-decade-old, one-of-a-kind coal-fired power plant, a colorful visual representation of a shift in power generation.

TVA, the largest public power provider in the country, published footage Thursday showing the controlled demolition of three giant cooling towers at the retired Paradise Fossil Plant in Kentucky. It was the only coal plant in the utility’s portfolio to have cooling towers, which are more commonly associated with nuclear plants.

TVA HEAD TALKS BIG PLANS FOR SMALL MODULAR NUCLEAR REACTORS

The Paradise plant’s first unit opened in 1963 and was fully retired in 2020, being replaced by a natural gas-fired plant.

“We are striving for cleaner and more efficient energy generation as we are building the energy system of the future,” the power provider said.

The utility also announced Thursday that its board approved a $216 million pilot program at its Shawnee Fossil Plant in Kentucky to consider developing a utility-scale solar project on a closed coal ash storage location.

TVA intends to retire all its coal units by 2035 and plans to add electricity generation capacity from emerging nuclear technologies and renewable sources, especially solar.

It’s a strategy being implemented by utilities across the country as market, regulatory, and other social forces pressure them to retire the emissions-intensive energy source in order to slow climate change.

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President Joe Biden, whose administration is drawing up regulations to crack down on environmental degradation tied to coal, recently boasted that his administration is working to shut down coal plants and build renewable generation in its stead.

Coal interests have insisted it’s a necessary and reliable fuel source, and regulators have recognized that strains on the electricity grid can be attributed to substantial retirements of coal capacity in recent years.

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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