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TVA puts new scrubbers in operation

HARRIMAN, Tenn. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will begin operating two recently completed scrubbers next week at its Kingston Fossil Plant, which the utility says will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions up to 95 percent.

This gives TVA a total of 10 scrubbers installed at five of its 11 coal-fired power plants.

A scrubber removes sulfur dioxide emissions by routing flue gases produced from burning coal through a limestone and water mixture. If released into the atmosphere, sulfur dioxide gas forms sulfates that can affect air quality. Sulfates can form fine particles that reduce visibility and can contribute to acid rain.

The two scrubbers added at Kingston will control sulfur dioxide from all nine boilers at the fossil plant, which can generate 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year.

TVA says it has reduced its total sulfur dioxide emissions by 91 percent since 1977 by operating scrubbers and burning low sulfur coal.

TVA also operates selective catalytic reduction systems on the nine units at Kingston, reducing the plant’s nitrogen oxide emissions by more than 90 percent.

Construction on the two scrubbers began in 2006. The first was completed in Dec. 2009, and the second was finished this past April. The scrubbers cost approximately $475 million. TVA will conduct a series of tests over the next several weeks on the pollution control equipment.

TVA began operating scrubbers at its fossil plants in 1977. TVA has spent more than $5.3 billion to reduce emissions while providing affordable, reliable electricity to the seven-state region.

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