Webinar Highlights Latest in TVA’s IRP Process
How will your home or business in the Valley region be powered in 2050?
TVA is considering the possibilities and planning for the future.
On Dec. 12, 2023, TVA held a public webinar to share the latest information on its 2024 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).
As the region grows at a rapid rate, the IRP will serve as a guide for how TVA can best meet energy demand through 2050. TVA will also produce an Environmental Impact Statement that evaluates the impacts of implementation of the IRP.
Scenarios and Strategies
TVA is working closely with a diverse group of stakeholders, called the IRP working group, who meet regularly to provide guidance on the IRP. The group will continue to provide insight throughout the process.
TVA and the IRP working group have spent months evaluating forecasts and other information to identify five scenarios, or futures, TVA could find itself operating in over the next few decades. These scenarios explore possible economic trends, for example, and potential regulation of carbon emissions.
Together, they also identified five business strategies TVA could use to meet energy demand in each possible future. Examples of possible strategies include specific focuses on carbon-free technologies as well as a focus on demand-side programs such as energy efficiency or distributed solar.
Details of the specific scenarios and strategies are available on the IRP webpage.
Currently, TVA is modeling what each power generation mix would be when scenarios, strategies and other information is incorporated into the model.
The model will generate 25 potential resource plans, or portfolios – one for each scenario and strategy combination.
The modeling starts with baselines for current conditions and business strategies to meet the current demand for energy, then it evaluates possible futures year by year. It takes the same incremental approach to identifying the business strategies TVA can use to address each scenario, or in other words, how TVA can meet the demand for power in each future scenario.
“Modeling essentially turns the scenario and strategy narratives into math, using calculatable numbers to evaluate the feasibility of each portfolio,” Candy Kelly, senior manager with TVA Resource Strategy, said.
TVA and the stakeholder group will analyze all the portfolios, considering key tradeoffs, and will identify a preferred portfolio direction to serve as a compass for TVA in the years to come.
Public Input is Critical
Input from stakeholders and the public is critical to the IRP process.
TVA team members have scheduled periodic webinars to provide IRP updates and offer opportunities to ask questions about the process.
TVA will also host informational open houses and seek public comments when the draft IRP and draft Environmental Impact Statement are released in spring 2024.
“The IRP is really a stakeholder engagement exercise,” Melanie Farrell, vice president of TVA External Strategy and Regulatory Oversight, said. “TVA conducts system planning twice a year, but the IRP is different. It brings in stakeholders and the public and incorporates their broad perspectives into our planning.”
Laying the Foundation
As the region continues to grow in popularity and as it continues to electrify, TVA’s load – the amount of electricity it must produce to meet customer demand – is growing by about 1,000 megawatts per year. To put that in context, 1,000 megawatts is enough to power nearly 500,000 homes.
Once completed, the 2024 IRP will lay the foundation for TVA’s asset strategies, which includes potential actions related to current and future generation assets, and the next long-range financial plan.
TVA currently follows its 2019 IRP. It plans to present the 2024 IRP and an accompanying Environment Impact Statement to the TVA Board for its decision in summer 2024.
Find the latest updates on the Integrated Resource Plan at TVA’s IRP website.