The Tennessee Valley Authority says the first combined cycle natural gas-fueled power plant in the state is officially operating.
The federal utility said Wednesday that Lagoon Creek Combined Cycle Plant, near Brownsville, began commercial operation with a generating capacity of 550 megawatts.
Combined cycle plants use combustion turbines, similar to jet engines, to produce electricity. Heat from the turbines' exhaust is then captured to heat water and produce steam that is sent to a steam turbine that generates additional power. Using the excess heat from the engines reduces the fuel use, and therefore, reduces emissions.
The plant is the first new power generation source constructed by TVA since 2002, when the Kemper Combustion Turbine site was completed. TVA has two other combined cycle plants — Caledonia and Southaven — both in Mississippi.
A staff of about 30 will manage the plant.