Critics blast plan for private financing of TVA's Bellefonte nuc - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

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Critics blast plan for private financing of TVA's Bellefonte nuclear plant

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The two cooling towers at TVA's Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Hollywood, AL, tower 500 feet above the ground. Times Free Press photo The two cooling towers at TVA's Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Hollywood, AL, tower 500 feet above the ground. Times Free Press photo
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Former TVA Chairman Dennis Bottorff and financier Franklin L. Haney are trying to make money at the expense of the Tennessee Valley Authority through their proposal to finish the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant using private funds and federal tax credits, an environmental group charged Tuesday.

Stephen Smith, executive director for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, said those pushing a $10 billion financing plan to pay for TVA to complete its twin-reactor Bellefonte plant "are trying to enrich themselves at the expense of TVA ratepayers." Smith said the private financing plan for Bellefonte is based upon faulty assumptions.

But Bottorff, a retired Nashville banker who has worked with dozens of companies and government agencies, said he is simply trying to help TVA meet its mission and take advantage of one of its biggest unused assets. The unfinished Bellefonte plant, he said, could be completed by 2021 and generate power at a lower cost than either TVA's fixing aging coal plants or using natural gas plants that may be hurt by rising fuel prices.

"If you want low-cost, reliable and clean energy, this is certainly the best option," Bottorff said."TVA is in a unique position to have an asset like Bellefonte that could be finished and produce power for 60 years at a very competitive rate."

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.


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