Last week, TVA celebrated the expansion of the Paradise Combustion Turbine plant alongside federal, state and local government officials, LPC partners and community leaders.

The Paradise Combustion Turbine Plant started commercial operation of three new units in December 2023, adding approximately 750 megawatts of new natural gas generation capacity to TVA’s generation fleet – enough to power more than 440,000 homes. The units are able to start within minutes, meeting the needs of the Valley region with dispatchable energy precisely when needed.

Roger Waldrep, Vice President of Major Projects, kicked off the event and welcomed attendees, thanking the hundreds of individuals who brought the state-of-the-art units to life. “Thanks to our hardworking employees and contractors, the new units became commercially operational just in time for the extreme, record-breaking winter weather we had in early January, and they performed well through that event. The new units continue to help keep electricity flowing during peak demand and will serve us well when summer temperatures rise.”

Chief Operating Officer Don Moul spoke to TVA’s commitment to reliability, followed by Sr. Vice President of Power Operations Allen Clare, who spoke to TVA’s commitment to Kentucky. Regional Executive, Regional Relations North Justin Maierhofer followed, showing appreciation of our LPC partnerships and how the expansion will impact the North region.

CEO Jeff Lyash also spoke saying, “Thank you to the team. You’ve built a tremendous new asset that’s continuing a legacy of investment and service.”

Rocky Adkins, Sr. Advisor to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear spoke to the contribution TVA is making in the community.

“The need for power as we move Kentucky forward, the economic success we’re seeing in Kentucky is the greatest I’ve seen in my lifetime, and job creation is the same, but we’ve got to make sure we have the power to power these announcements and these industries that are coming to Kentucky,” said Adkins. “These industries that we are recruiting to Kentucky, they don’t require less energy, they require more, so this is very important in the overall picture of how we continue this momentum and how we continue to see private sector investment continue here in this part of the TVA region.”

The program concluded with Bryan Williams, Sr. Vice President of Generation Construction, Projects and Services recognizing the team that brought the project online on schedule. Following the program, attendees were invited to tour the site and see first-hand the results of hundreds of employees’ time, dedication and focus on excellence.

Reason to celebrate 

TVA teams had a lot to celebrate, completing more than one million work hours with no significant environmental events, OSHA serious events or lost-time injuries. Additionally, the teams completed the project under budget and on schedule.

“Safety was and continues to be our highest priority, and the team demonstrated a remarkable dedication to making sure everyone went home to their families in the same way they arrived at their work sites – every day, every shift,” said Roger. “With their quality craftsmanship, teamwork and attention to detail, these folks constructed and brought the three new units online without experiencing any significant environmental events, OSHA serious events nor any lost time injuries.”

Construction on the new units began in the fall of 2021, reinforcing our commitment to a cleaner generation mix, providing flexibility, reliability and responsiveness for the power grid. Paradise also enables us to continue providing the 10 million residents of the Valley region with low-cost and reliable energy.

“With the three new units here at Paradise, TVA continues to meet increasing demand for electricity while ensuring our system is flexible as needs and conditions change,” said Don. “These three new combustion turbines provide flexible, responsive and reliable power for the grid, and reflect TVA’s commitment to a cleaner generation mix as we continue to build the energy system of the future.”

The gas plant will be operated by approximately 30 employees and is located in Drakesboro, Ky. in Muhlenberg County.

Why natural gas? 

Natural gas serves an increasingly important role in our mission to provide clean, reliable energy to the people and businesses of the Tennessee Valley region. Natural gas produces far lower levels of emissions than coal, helping improve air quality while meeting the growing demand for power in our region.

Natural gas plays a vital role in our plan to add 10,000 megawatts of solar power by 2035. Gas enables renewable sources by supporting intermittent system needs and ensuring year-round, firm, dispatchable generation. This is imperative to assist with:

  • Quickly meeting demand during peak periods such as hot summer afternoons or cold winter nights. Many units can reach full power in as little as 20 minutes and are used only during peak demand.
  • Reducing the need to purchase higher-priced power from external sources during peak periods.
  • Controlling costs while reliably meeting energy demands because of their ability to quickly start up and shut down as needed.