The Tennessee Valley Authority dedicated new natural gas units at the Paradise Combustion Turbine Plant in Drakesboro, Kentucky.

The three units at Paradise add 750 MW to TVA’s generation fleet. While the units were announced at a dedication event on April 10, they started commercial operation in late December.

TVA said the fast-starting units can reach full power within 11 minutes to help meet demand peaks.

“These units provide the flexibility, responsiveness, and reliability needed to support the power grid,” Roger Waldrep, TVA’s Vice President of Major Projects said. “They allow us to meet demand during normal loads as well as peak periods, like the extremely cold days we experienced this winter, and the warm days that are ahead this summer.”

The expansion of Paradise is part of TVA’s plan to build more than 3,800 MW of new generation by 2028 that includes solar, energy storage, combustion turbines and combined-cycle natural gas.  

The new units join three other combustion turbines that began operating in July 2023 at the Colbert site in northern Alabama.

In 2020, TVA shut down the last coal-fired unit at Paradise Fossil Plant after 50 years of operation. Paradise Unit 3, located in Muhlenberg County near the Green River, began operation in 1970 with a net generating capacity of 1,080 MW. It generated enough electricity to supply more than 800,000 average homes.

TVA’s Board of Directors voted in 2019 to retire the unit. The other two coal-fired units at Paradise were retired in 2017. That generation was replaced with a combined-cycle natural gas plant with a baseload capacity of 1,025 MW, which began operation next to the fossil plant site in 2017.

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