• 57°
franklin county times

Kemper County power plant moves step closer to construction

By By Sheila Blackmon/The Meridian Star
Jan. 9, 2001
SCOOBA A $200 million power generating plant project moved a step closer to a possible May construction date after a public hearing here Monday night.
The natural gas-fired plant, designed by the Tennessee Valley Authority to produce power for peak operating periods, could be operational by 2002 and pump another $2.5 million annually into the Kemper County economy.
Both of the proposed sites for the plant are two to three miles east of DeKalb and north of Highway 16. The plant would use four combustion turbines to generate 340 megawatts to help meet growing demands for electricity during peak summer and winter months.
A TVA review found the plant could have what the agency called a minor impact on some area wetlands.
A draft environmental impact survey is currently under review, but not all of the appropriate state and federal agencies have competed their assessment. Those comments are due by the end of January.
Carter said he has completed four such studies and "can't imagine something that would delay the schedule."
The public comment period closes on Jan. 30. TVA officials will then begin to finalize the study and expect to publish the final draft April 1.
Another review and comment period follows, after which TVA's board of directors is expected to decide by May 1 to proceed with construction. Ground could be broken the next day.
we addressed our last major local milestone, the results of this environmental impact study," said Mike McGrevey. executive director of the Kemper County Economic Development Authority.
The project may offer as many as 30 news jobs, about 10 of which will be regular TVA employees. The rest will be contract jobs, McGrevey said.
In addition, TVA employees will be traveling in and out of Kemper County, "which means they'll be buying our gas, staying at our hotels and eating in our restaurants," he said.
Sheila Blackmon is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. E-mail her at sblackmon@themeridianstar.com.
Written comments on TVA's Kemper County generating plant may be submitted through Jan. 29 to Bruce L. Yeager, Senior NEPA Specialist, TVA 400 W. Summit Hill Drive, WT 8C-K, Knoxville, TN 37902-1499. Comments may also be e-mailed to blyeager@tva.gov.