TVA to sell unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant
- The Tennessee Valley Authority has opted to sell the unfinished Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, following a determination that new large-scale generation would be unneeded for another two decades, AL.com reports.
- TVA's board of directors last week voted to classify the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant property as "surplus," and will now begin preparing for an auction.
- Development of Bellefonte began in 1974 and construction was halted in 1988. It is unclear what the property could fetch at auction, but so far the federal utility has spent about $4 billion on the abandoned project.
TVA's board has voted to surplus the Bellefonte property and sell it at auction, but what it will become is still anyone's guess. The site includes parking lots, transmission equipment, rail lines, a heli-pad and multiple finished buildings. At least one renewable energy developer has indicated an interest in the property.
But with the board’s vote, TVA will now begin the process of getting the property ready for auction.
“We sought public comments on whether to sell or keep the property and for what uses,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in a statement “Our analysis of the property and its potential uses, and input from public officials, customers and Valley residents, indicate that offering the property for sale could better serve the public.”
TVA had been preserving the property as an option for future nuclear generation, but said the utility's most recent Integrated Resource Plan "shows that large-scale power generation sources will not be needed for at least 20 years. ... Strong financial management also includes evaluating asset needs today and in the future and making the decisions necessary to adjust for continued flat demand in electricity."
Bellefonte was started in 1970s but was mothballed in the late 80s when power consumption began to decline. TVA faces an energy shortage through 2033, but the utility has said it will focus on gas generation and demand management, rather than continue to pursue construction of Bellefonte.
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