The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said in a Sept. 25 notice that it plans to issue on Nov. 2 an environmental assessment covering a March application by Texas Gas Transmission LLC for approval to construct and operate a natural gas pipeline leading to the Tennessee Valley Authority‘s Paradise coal plant in western Kentucky, which is to be partially repowered with natural gas.
This is known as the Western Kentucky Lateral Project, which would provide up to 230,000 million British thermal units per day of firm natural gas transportation capacity to serve the TVA. The project would include the construction of 22.5 miles of 24-inch-diameter pipeline connecting the existing Texas Gas Midland 3 Compressor Station to the TVA’s Paradise Fossil Plant; two new meter and regulator stations, check meters, and associated auxiliary facilities; new permanent access roads; and one new mainline valve in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. About 35% of the pipeline would be co-located within existing rights-of-way.
Upon the completion by TVA of a new 1,085-MW natural gas-fired facility at the Paradise site, coal-fired Units 1 and 2 with a summer net capability of 1,230 MW will be retired. The coal-fired Unit 3 would be the only coal unit at the site to remain in operation.
Notable is that the Kentucky Coal Association has a pending appeal at the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on TVA’s decision to shut these two Paradise coal units and replace them with gas-fired generation. The association had lost its arguments at the District Court level in December 2014. The association argues that TVA violated environmental review rules in making the shutdown decision. The appeals court docket shows the case is due for oral argument on Oct. 13.