Kingston Fossil Plant

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Kingston Fossil Plant
Kingston Fossil Plant
Kingston Fossil Plant is located in Tennessee
Kingston Fossil Plant
Location of the Kingston Fossil Plant
Country United States
Location Roane County, Tennessee, near Kingston, Tennessee
Coordinates 35°53′54″N 84°31′08″W / 35.89833°N 84.51889°W / 35.89833; -84.51889Coordinates: 35°53′54″N 84°31′08″W / 35.89833°N 84.51889°W / 35.89833; -84.51889
Status Operational
Commission date Units 1–4: 1954
Units 5–9: 1955
Owner(s) Tennessee Valley Authority
Operator(s) Tennessee Valley Authority
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal
Cooling source Watts Bar Lake
Power generation
Units operational 9
Nameplate capacity 1,700 MW

Kingston Fossil Plant, commonly known as Kingston Steam Plant, is a 1.7-gigawatt (1,700 MW) coal-fired power plant located in Roane County, just outside Kingston, Tennessee on the shore of Watts Bar Lake. It is operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. The plant is known for the Kingston Fossil Plant coal slurry spill which occurred in December 2008.


Commissioned in 1951, it was the largest coal-fired power plant in the world when completed in 1955.[1] It was built primarily to provide electricity for the nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory.[2] The plant is a popular site for birdwatchers, as many waterfowl come to the settling and treatment ponds nearby.[3]

The plant has nine generating units: Units 1–4, rated at 175 MW each (launched into service in 1954), and Units 5–9, rated at 200 MW each (launched in 1955).[4] It produces about ten billion kilowatt hours of electricity from some five million tons of coal each year. All nine generating units are equipped with selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems to reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions that contribute to the formation of ozone.[1][5] In 1976, its original stacks were taken out of service (though left standing) and replaced by a pair of 1,000-foot (300 m) tall chimneys, one for Units 1–5 and one for Units 6–9.[6]

2008 spill[edit]

In December 2008, an impoundment at the plant failed, releasing 1.1 billion US gallons (4,200,000 m3) of coal fly ash slurry that covered up to 300 acres (1.2 km2) of the surrounding land, damaging homes and flowing into nearby waterways such as the Emory River and Clinch River, tributaries of the Tennessee River. This was the largest accidental release of coal fly ash in the United States.

EPA compliance agreement[edit]

On April 14, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a settlement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to resolve alleged Clean Air Act violations at 11 of its coal-fired plants in Alabama, Kentucky, and Tennessee.[7] Under the terms of the agreement, Units 1–9 will continuously operate SCR systems to reduce their emissions of NOx.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant page". Retrieved December 23, 2008. 
  2. ^ Tennessee Valley Authority Office of Engineering Design and Construction, The Kingston Steam Plant: A Report on the Planning, Design, Construction, Costs, and First Power Operations (Tennessee Valley Authority Technical Report no. 34, 1965), pp. 1-12.
  3. ^ Charles P. Nicholson and Ron Hoff, Birding at Kingston Steam Plant, Tennessee Ornithological Society, September 2006
  4. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  5. ^ Donald Borio and Robert Babb, Technical and Economic Considerations in Hot or Cold Placement of SCR Systems for Utility Boilers, ICAC Forum '02
  6. ^ "Kingston Power Plant entry at". 
  7. ^ Tennessee Valley Authority Clean Air Act Settlement
  8. ^ Federal Facilities Compliance Agreement Between EPA and TVA

External links[edit]