The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted in favor of two natural gas pipeline projects on Jan. 18, including a line that will support future power plant operations for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), while the other allows Williams Cos. to expand capacity on its Transcontinental line.

The TVA needs a 32-mile natural gas pipeline to supply a planned power facility in Stewart County, Tennessee. The authority plans to replace the coal-powered Cumberland plant with two units. The first, a 1,450-MW unit, will go into operation by 2026, the second in 2026. The TVA had warned the FERC in a letter sent Jan. 3 that disapproval of the gas line would lead to keeping the Cumberland facility open past its planned retirement date.

Kinder Morgan subsidiary Tennessee Gas Pipeline is slated to build the project.

The Transcontinental line extends from Texas to New York. Williams plans to add 364,400 dekatherms per day of natural gas capacity for a portion of the line in Louisiana and Texas, according to the company’s filing with the FERC. The company has estimated the cost of the expansion at $91.8 million. The expansion “will support reliability and diversification of energy infrastructure along the Gulf Coast,” according to a statement on the company’s web site.

EOG Resources entered into a 15-year binding precedent agreement for all new capacity the project produces, according to Williams.

Both projects received protests from environmental groups.

The Southern Environmental Law Center, a legal advocacy organization based in the Southeast U.S., has filed two federal lawsuits against the TVA’s plan—a case against the pipeline’s permit and a case saying the TVA failed to study alternatives to gas-powered plants before moving forward.

The TVA said a delay would hurt the organization’s “ability to develop and implement a path to approximately 80% carbon reduction by 2035,” according to its filing with the FERC.

The Sierra Club has expressed opposition to the Williams project, filing a protest with the FERC in 2021, and has maintained in other comments filed with the commission that the project does not take into account the public’s interest against carbon emissions.

During the FERC’s Jan. 17 open session, FERC Commissioner Allison Clements repeated that the project did not prove that it would benefit the public and voted against approval.

FERC Chairman Willie Phillips said Williams’ contract with EOG proved that the project was needed and voted in favor, along with FERC Commissioner Mark Christie.