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Story by WFIE

With two coal powered units going offline in Muhlenberg County, a new billion dollar plant is emerging in their place.

The Paradise combined cycle plant is located in Drakesboro.

14NEWS receive an exclusive look behind the scenes at the construction site.

The new natural gas plant will replace two of the three coal fired units currently in place at Paradise.

Construction is about 20 percent complete on the $1.2 billion project.

The three large turbines are in the place.

“This is the primary heat source – it generates electricity just from the crank shaft of the turbine,” said Roger Waldrep, GM of Major Projects at TVA.

To date, about 475,000 man hours have gone into getting some of the major structures in place.

They’ve only been in full construction mode for about five months.

“The next major milestone in the next couple of weeks-the steam turbine will arrive on a barge and that will go onto its pedestal in October or November,” said Waldrep.

“And then the big steps from there are more structures will go up and the transmission lines will tie this yard to the coal plant.”

About 480 jobs were created for the construction of the plant.

However, only 35 full-time people will be needed to keep it running.

“All in all 30-35 is on the high side for a plant of this size,” adds Waldrep.

And the next major step is to build a natural gas pipeline from nearby the Wendell Ford military base – 20 miles to the site.

That natural gas pipeline will be in place by next summer, and the plant is expected to be complete by summer of 2017.