TVA’s combustion turbine generators are located at 11 sites across the TVA service area. They run on natural gas or fuel oil and are designed to start quickly during peak demand periods. The turbines operate like a jet engine, drawing in air, compressing it, mixing it with fuel and igniting it. The hot combustion gases then expand through turbine blades connected to a generator to produce electricity.
Combined cycle units
Combined cycle units initially operate like combustion turbines. The difference occurs when the hot combusting gases used to turn the turbine are captured to produce steam. This steam is then used to drive a steam turbine to produce an additional 50 percent output. TVA has combined cycle units at three locations.