On Monday, TVA issued its final Environmental Assessment (EA) regarding the potential closure of the Bull Run Fossil Plant (BFR) in Claxton, and the utility is recommending to its Board of Directors that Bull Run be closed by the year 2023.
TVA had issued a call for public comments about the possible socioeconomic and environmental ramifications of closing the plant, which has been operational since 1967. That public comment period ended in January. Local governments–specifically Anderson County and Oak Ridge–requested that TVA keep the plant open for the sake of the 100 or so people employed there.
The EA was finalized and released on Monday, along with a document titled “Finding of No Significant Impact,” that lays out the reasons for the proposed closure. Bull Run is described in that document as a “large, inflexible coal unit with medium operating costs and a high forced outage rate (involuntary shutdowns), BRF does not fit current and likely future (power) portfolio needs.” TVA cites the lower cost, and increased use of, other power sources including nuclear energy, natural gas and renewable energy and says that “the potential retirement of an inflexible unit with high maintenance costs in 2023 would facilitate TVA’s statutory mission to provide reliable power at the lowest system cost.”
Bull Run is the only single-generator coal-fired power plant in the TVA system.
Comprehensive analysis, including the NEPA evaluation for the retirement of BRF, will be used to inform the TVA Board as TVA plans its future power supply, according to a TVA release.
You can read the Finding of No Significant Impact by following this link.
TVA also is recommending that a coal-fired power plant in Paradise, Kentucky is also being slated for closure.
The TVA Board could discuss the futures of both facilities when it meets later this week.