A Look to the Future
Kathryn J. Jackson, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President, River System Operations and Environment, and Environmental Executive
TVA’s commitment to meeting the electricity needs of the TVA region and to responsible stewardship of the region’s natural resources has played a critical role in the region’s development, bringing good jobs while making the region a great place to live, work, and play.
We can see the results of this commitment in improvements in the region’s air, waters, and land. Today, the air in the Tennessee Valley region is the cleanest it has been in decades. Stakeholders now receive increased value from TVA’s reservoir system and the surrounding public lands. And further improvements are on the horizon.
TVA has already announced plans for additional sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide controls that will ensure that the region’s air continues to improve, and even more controls will be installed to meet the additional requirements of the Clean Air Interstate Rule and mercury regulations. Recent investments in equipment to maintain oxygen concentrations in the tailwater area immediately below TVA dams will help ensure that water quality is maintained as summer water levels are held for a longer time. The investments TVA has made, and continues to make today, will provide benefits to customers and stakeholders in the TVA region for years to come.
TVA is also making investments to ensure that the region continues to benefit from access to a diverse generation portfolio. The recent increases in natural gas prices have highlighted the dangers of over-reliance on a single fuel source. Our investments in emission controls will ensure that TVA customers continue to have access to our nation’s most plentiful fuel source, coal. By 2007, TVA will have increased its nuclear generation capacity by over 1,200 megawatts when we complete the recovery of Browns Ferry Unit 1, and we are increasing our hydro generation capacity through our hydro modernization program. These investments in nuclear and hydro power will not only reduce the cost of power, they will also reduce the carbon intensity of TVA’s generating fleet.
As the economy of the TVA region grows, increased demands will be placed on the reservoir system. Our partnerships with stakeholders through programs such as our Clean Marina, Growth Readiness and Water Quality Improvement initiatives will help reduce the impacts of development and increased recreational use of the reservoir system. Working through the Tennessee Valley Water Supply Partnership, we will continue to work with states in the region to share information on water resources and manage expected increases in requests for interbasin water transfers.
As stewards of the region’s land and waters, we are responsible for protecting some of the most biologically diverse places in the world. Most of TVA’s reservoir land is managed for conservation and recreation purposes, and as urban areas become more and more populated, open-space areas along the reservoir system will become increasingly important to reservoir users. TVA will continue to work with the public in developing reservoir land management plans to ensure these lands provide an appropriate mix of conservation, recreation and economic development benefits.
For more than 70 years, TVA’s main objective has been to improve the quality of life for the people of this region. Thanks to its broad multipurpose mission, TVA has been able to adapt to the changing needs of the people and businesses of the TVA region. What has not changed, and what will never change, is our continuing commitment to meeting the energy, environmental and resource management needs of the Tennessee Valley region.
Kathryn J. Jackson, Ph.D.