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TVA studying carbon capture technology at natural gas plants in KY, MS

The Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, KY is among TVA's fleet of natural gas plants.
The Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro, KY is among TVA's fleet of natural gas plants.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is launching a study on how to reduce carbon emissions at its natural gas plant in Muhlenberg County.

The federal utility is exploring a partnership with TC Energy to add carbon capture technology at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro. TVA has retired two coal-fired unitsthere in recent years, and has a goal of shuttering its entire network of coal units by 2035.

Reducing emissions at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Drakesboro will help TVA reach its goal of becoming net-zero by 2050.

The $1.2 million study will determine the costs, technical challenges, and operational impacts of adding carbon capture technology to its entire fleet of natural gas plants. Spokesman Scott Fielder says doing so is important as TVA adds more solar to its energy portfolio.

“Natural gas technology is the only mature technology as this time to ensure the reliability of the power grid when the sun isn’t shining, so we need to look at ways to reduce carbon from these existing facilities as we add more solar to the network," Fiedler told WKU Public Radio.

The study will also explore carbon capture technology at TVA’s natural gas facility in Ackerman, Mississippi.

Carbon capture works by sending exhaust from natural gas plants to a CO2 scrubber adjacent to the plant. A chemical reaction absorbs the CO2 before the exhaust is released into the air. The CO2 is then pumped deep into the earth for storage.

Lisa is a Scottsville native and WKU alum. She has worked in radio as a news reporter and anchor for 18 years. Prior to joining WKU Public Radio, she most recently worked at WHAS in Louisville and WLAC in Nashville. She has received numerous awards from the Associated Press, including Best Reporter in Kentucky. Many of her stories have been heard on NPR.