CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Authority is giving up on a project that was supposed to become one of its biggest nuclear power plants.

TVA is selling the 1,400-acre site in northeast Alabama next month for a fraction of the amount it spent on the facility, the Chattanooga Times Free Press ( reported. TVA said Friday it set a Nov. 14 auction date to sell its unfinished Bellefonte nuclear power plant.

Concentric Energy Advisors Inc., a property consulting firm TVA hired this spring to market the site on the Tennessee River in Hollywood, Ala., will conduct the sale at the plant site.

TVA directors declared the unfinished nuclear plant to be surplus property earlier this year — 43 years after construction began on the twin-reactor complex. The federal utility said the primary goal in selling the site is to provide the best long-term economic return to surrounding communities.

The minimum bid price is $36.4 million — the property’s appraised value — but the bids will be evaluated on both the price offered and the economic gains any sale would generate for the region.

TVA invested more than $5 billion in capital and interest costs at Bellefonte since work began in 1973. Work was suspended in the 1980s when TVA’s growth in power demand slowed and TVA determined it didn’t need either of the 1,200-megawatt units.

The site is not currently subject to any zoning regulations and TVA says the site could support a mix of industrial, commercial, retail and residential use.

TVA spokesman Scott Fiedler said the utility and its sales agent are not disclosing the identities of bidders who have qualified to submit purchase proposals next month. It is unclear if any of the buyers are interested in using the reactor building, transmission yard and cooling towers to pursue any nuclear power generation.

Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press,