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County, Oak Ridge tell TVA “Keep Bull Run open”

Responding to a TVA request for comments on possibly retiring the coal-fired Bull Run Fossil Plant in Claxton in 2023, Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank has written a letter requesting the plant stay open that was unanimously approved Monday night by the Anderson County Commission. The public comment period concerning the plant ended Wednesday.

The letter indicates that the county hopes it will remain open because of the 100 or so jobs at the plant,but also says that in the event TVA does close it down, that the utility consider using the site as the home of a natural gas plant,or make it available for commercial use. Oak Ridge officials also submitted a letter echoing those sentiments before the close of public comment.

The draft environment assessment analyzes the consequences of a possible retirement of the plant in 2023.

That report indicates that Bull Run has the worst rate in TVA’s roster of coal-fired assets for unplanned shutdowns to repair or replace failed equipment, and that it has“relatively high projected future” maintenance and environmental compliance costs.

The report also outlined the environmental, social, recreational and economic impacts that closing Bull Run might have. These include better air quality and fewer issues with solid waste such as coal ash, but also the loss of jobs.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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One comment

  1. Bull Run has outlived its usefulness, since these days solar projects are popping up to provide 1GWe power. Without baseline power, these plants will not handle the loads at night, during poor weather, and/or need expensive storage schemes. The growth of TVA coal ash territory will be their legacy, especially along prestine lake front. I cross over this waste land every day to go to work. The land is useless, but could support quite a nice solar complex that is becoming affordable for long-term use. A bull run, though inefficient could be run as a baseline plant to this solar project. I would propose DOE take a look at this type of solution to much of the countries aging plants. For example, if a 1/2 GWe solar plant was operational at Bull Run, this would reduce the coal use (about 1/2), ash waste disposal and provide a baseline power source.

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