TVA Releases Draft Integrated Resource Plan and Environmental Impact Statement
September 16, 2010
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority on Thursday issued a draft of its Integrated Resource Plan, a comprehensive study that will help guide efforts to meet regional electricity needs over the next 20 years.
Titled "TVA's Environmental and Energy Future," the study analyzes potential combinations of economic and regulatory trends in the coming years and provides recommendations for addressing them. The plan's main purpose is to help TVA meet the region's future energy challenges in ways that maintain reliable power supplies, competitive prices, improved environmental performance and continued financial strength.
TVA's yearlong analysis included input from numerous stakeholders including state agencies, power distributors, environmental groups, universities and the general public. The study yielded several likely probabilities for TVA, including:
- Nuclear expansion will continue, with the potential to eventually overtake coal as the leading electricity source;
- TVA may idle a portion of its coal generation fleet, as coal units become older and less economical under tighter regulations;
- Energy efficiency and demand response, as well as renewable generation, will play an increasing role in future resource options;
- Natural gas capacity additions will be a viable resource option and a key source of generation flexibility for TVA;
- The intensity of TVA's carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions will continue to decrease.
Using the study's methodology, TVA examined seven possible long-term scenarios for the next two decades, based on factors such as economic growth, inflation, fuel prices and the regulatory environment. They are:
- Dramatic economic recovery
- Environmental focus becoming a greater national priority
- Prolonged economic malaise
- Introduction of game-changing energy-related technology
- Greater U.S. energy independence
- Carbon regulation creating an economic downturn
- Current approach/baseline
The Integrated Resource Plan process also developed various possible strategies that TVA might use to meet the region's future power needs. Each strategy was analyzed to create 20-year power generation portfolios — or combinations of electricity resources — for TVA to consider. Each portfolio was rated using factors such as cost, risk and environmental impact.
The draft Integrated Resource Plan suggests that a diverse portfolio -- including more nuclear, less coal, more energy efficiency and demand response programs and more renewable generation -- rank higher than strategies that do not establish the same level of financial and operational flexibility.
"TVA's Integrated Resource Plan process is a rigorous one that is supportive of TVA's renewed vision and will guide the corporation as it leads the region and the nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future, relying more on nuclear power and energy efficiency and less on coal," said Van Wardlaw, TVA's executive vice president of Enterprise Relations, who is leading the Integrated Resource Plan effort.
The TVA Board of Directors has adopted a renewed vision for the federal corporation to be one of the nation's leading providers of cleaner low-cost energy by 2020, increasing its use of nuclear power and energy efficiency and improving its environmental performance.
TVA completed its previous Integrated Resource Plan, titled "Energy Vision 2020," in 1995. The new plan will update the earlier study, based upon changes in regulations and legislation, the marketplace for electric generating utilities and customer demand.
Using the Integrated Resource Plan's findings, the TVA Board of Directors in the spring of 2011 is expected to select the planning strategy that best meets TVA's strategic goals.
TVA will hold four public meetings to receive comments on the draft plan. The meetings also will be available by webinar.
The following are the places for the IRP public meetings. All are from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Bowling Green, Oct. 5
Holiday Inn and Sloan Conv Center
1021 Wilkinson Trace
Bowling Green, KY 42103
Olive Branch, Oct. 7
Whispering Woods Hotel and Convention Center
11200 East Goodman Rd.
Olive Branch, MS 38654
Knoxville, Oct. 13
TVA Knoxville Office Complex – Auditorium
400 West Summit Hill Dr.
Knoxville, TN 37902
Huntsville, Oct. 14
Marriott Space Center
5 Tranquility Base
Huntsville, AL 35805
The Integrated Resource Plan and the Environmental Impact Statement are posted on TVA's website at www.tva.com/irp.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 36,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA’s service territory are below the national average.
Barbara Martocci, Knoxville, (865) 632-8632
Media Relations, Knoxville (865) 632-6000