FRANKFORT, KY. (AP) — Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell has met with Tennessee Valley Authority President William Johnson to seek continued operation of the Paradise Fossil Plant, a coal-fired generator in Drakesboro.
TVA is reviewing what action to take at the Paradise plant, since two of its three generating stations would need upgrades to meet new federal emission standards.
McConnell said closure of the plant, which burned more than 6 million tons of Kentucky coal last year, would hurt the economy.
A statement from TVA on Friday said officials are "evaluating all options."
"Paradise has been and will continue to be an important part of TVA's service to the Tennessee Valley," the statement said.
TVA is considering whether it should add new emission controls to units 1 and 2, which date to the late 1950s; build a new generating plant powered by natural gas; or take no action. A project that added modern emission controls to units 1 and 2 was completed at Paradise last year, but TVA said those units won't be in compliance with stricter regulations recently adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Most of Kentucky's federal delegation co-signed a letter to Johnson, telling him it's important that TVA maintain an "all-inclusive energy portfolio." For that reason, they urged him to keep the coal-fired plant running and continue to purchase coal mined in Kentucky.
The plant has about 400 full-time employees. McConnell said thousands of other jobs are dependent on the plant, including those of coal miners.