When the Kingston Fossil Plant began power generation for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1955, it was the largest coal-burning power plant in the world — a distinction it held for more than a decade.
But after 66 years of electricity generation — and the nation’s worst coal ash spill at the site more than 12 years ago — TVA is proposing that it could begin shutting down the Kingston coal plant, starting within the next five years.
TVA launched a public scoping process this week with a public hearing to solicit public input on the future of Kingston. In its notice of the environmental review process, TVA proposes to retire three Kingston units as early as 2026, but no later than 2031. The remaining six units at Kingston could be shut down as early as 2027 under one of the proposals TVA is considering for the coal plant.
The environmental review of the Kingston plant could consider a variety of options for the site, including keeping it as a coal plant, building a natural gas plant on the property or replacing the power with renewables, battery storage or energy efficiency measures.
TVA CEO Jeff Lyash has said he wants to phase out all of TVA’s aging coal fleet within the next decade and a half and is starting the process with TVA’s biggest coal plants.