Knoxville, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors Tuesday unanimously approved a $1.018-billion coal contract with Island Creek Coal Sales Co. of Kentucky.
The contract has a maximum life of 20 years and provides for a maximum of 36 million tons of coal. TVA spokesman Gil Francis said that all of the coal is to come from mines in Union County, Ky.
"This has nothing to do with the nuclear shutdown we've had," Francis said. "This coal is at a really good price. It's cheaper than going to our reserves."
The coal is being purchased at $28.07 a ton.
TVA has relied heavily on coal-fired generators since the shutdown this year of its two operating nuclear power plants and lengthy delays in starting a third nuclear power plant.