Have you ever vacationed in Tennessee? The mountains are ‘God’s country’ filled with beauty, wildlife, lakes etc. The last thing vacationers want to see are wind turbines spoiling their views. Additionally, the multi-state transmission line will require $Billions in taxpayer funds and years to complete. Thankfully, the TVA appears to realize this and the fact that wind energy IS much more expensive than natural gas. In potentially as little as 100 acres, each natural gas plant will replace tens, if not hundreds of thousands of acres, that turbines would require; additionally, the natural gas plant will produce energy that is reliable and steady and will last for decades. Natural gas is also very clean. Yes, there will be maintenance at this plant, but the life of many wind turbines is frought with disrepair and maintenance that is often hidden from our view. From gearbox failures at approximately 5 years, to an average life of less than 15 years and reduced productivity as they age, turbines do not look nearly as enticing as a natural gas facility….thank you TVA for having common sense…
TVA directors will be asked on Aug. 21 to adopt a fiscal 2015 budget that includes funding for a natural gas plant to replace the Allen Steam Plant. TVA Chief Financial Officer John Thomas said the proposal is part of $3 billion of capital projects TVA is considering for next year in the biggest capital spending year in the utilitys 81-year history.
But environmentalists want TVA to slow down before building another major gas plant just because natural gas prices are now very favorable.
“TVA has a lot cleaner and better options in Memphis than simply building another major natural gas plant to replace Allen,” said Stephen Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
A Houston company, Clean Line Energy Partners, is working with the Southwest Power Administration to build a direct-current transmission line to carry 3,500 megawatts of wind power from Oklahoma and Texas to Memphis within the next three to four years. The Sierra Club in Tennessee also wants TVA to do more to buy locally produced solar and wind power, as well as to encourage more energy conservation and efficiency.
“We shouldnt just substitute one form of fossil fuel generation for another when there are other options,” said Scott Banbury, conservation coordinator for the Tennessee Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Gas may be cheap right now, but it is going to get more expensive.”…(yes, if the EPA has any say in it!)
In a recent letter to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., TVA said natural gas generation last year for TVA averaged $39 per megawatthour, or less than half of the $80-per-megawatt cost of wind generation….