TVA closing coal-fired plant four years early

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority will retire a coal-burning power plant in Stevenson about four years ahead of schedule to avoid having to comply with new coal ash regulations.

The utility’s board of directors voted on Thursday to close the final boiler unit at the Widows Creek plant by October, when new federal regulations for storing the coal ash waste come into effect.

Chief Operating Officer Chip Pardee said the new regulations will require significant reporting and be more costly than current rules.

TVA retired the plant’s other seven units between 2012 and 2014. TVA had previously planned to idle the final unit in 2019.

Pardee said closing and deconstructing the plant will provide continued work for some of the 90 employees there.