Through the power distributors of the TVA region, TVA provides some 9 million consumers with reliable electric power at an affordable price. This massive public power system, the largest in the nation, provides a service that operates for the public good rather than the need to generate profits.
Public service also means public responsibility, and power generation across an 80,000-square-mile service area cannot help affecting the environment. More than half of TVAs power is generated by the burning of fossil fuels, and this process inevitably releases chemical emissions into the atmosphere.
TVA's aggressive emission control program has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by 91 percent since 1977 and lowered nitrogen oxide emissions by about 88 percent since 1995.
- From 1977 to 2011, TVA spent about $5.4 billion to reduce its air emissions.
- TVA has installed emission controls on all 59 coal-fired units.
- To reduce nitrogen oxide emissions, TVA has installed selective catalytic reduction technology on 21 of its units.
- All five of TVA’s natural gas fired Combine Cycle Plants have SCRs to reduce nitrous oxide emissions.
- To reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, TVA has switched to low-sulfur coal at some fossil plants and equipped 60 percent of its coal-fired capacity with scrubbers. Learn more.
- The TVA Board has approved additional air emission controls for the the Allen and Gallatin coal fired units.
For further details about TVA’s clean air modifications and a graph showing emission reduction achievements, see the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides pages. Also see the menus at right for added information on carbon dioxide, emission controls, and what TVA is doing at each of its fossil sites.
Clean Air Program
TVA invests in state-of-the-art technology to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from its coal-fired plants. Watch a video to learn more about how this equipment helps clean the air and reduce the impact of TVA’s operations on the environment.
Air quality standards
Check here for information on the federal environmental standards that affect TVAs power generation.
TVA carries out many research projects related to air quality and other environmental issues. See a bibliography of scientific papers.