Colbert Fossil Plant
Balancing efficient power production with environmental protection
Electricity is produced at Colberts five coal-fired units by heating water in a boiler to produce steam. Under extremely high pressure, the steam flows into a turbine that spins a generator to make electricity. Colbert generates some 7 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to supply 480,000 homes.
Low-cost and cleaner energy
Through 2011, TVA has spent about $5.4 billion on emissions controls at its fossil-fuel plants to help TVA produce power as cleanly as possible, consistent with efficiency. This includes installation of a selective catalytic reduction system at Colbert Unit 5 to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by about 90 percent.
In support of recent environmental agreements and its vision of being one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020, Colbert Unit 5, by Dec. 31, 2015, and Colberts 1-4, by June 30, 2016, will be:
- Removed from service
- Converted to renewable biomass
- Controled by adding a scrubber for sulfur dioxide reduction, or retired.
If the units are removed from service by these dates, they could be returned to service with emissions controls within three years.
TVA added eight combustion-turbine units at Colbert in the early 1970s. These units are designed to start quickly and typically are operated only during peak demand periods.