FLORENCE, Ala. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Thursday announced plans to move forward with a Valley Pathways Study that will look at all segments of the economy to accelerate the region's clean-energy economy. TVA will use this study to expand on the region’s standing as a national leader for innovation in new nuclear, renewable energy, electric vehicles, energy storage and hydrogen.
“TVA has one of the nation’s largest, most diverse and cleanest generation portfolios, and our economic development team is staying busy because our affordable, reliable, resilient, and clean energy is the catalyst that fuels our region's growth,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO. “If we want to go further, faster in our pursuit of a clean energy economy, we must work together across all sectors. Our objective is to learn and work together to create pathways to a clean energy economy.”
Lyash highlighted that the study – a partnership between the University of Tennessee’s Baker Center and TVA – is critical to help the region better define the pace of electrification and identify the connections between the power industry and all sectors of the economy to pinpoint ways everyone can adopt sustainable, carbon-free solutions.
Lyash noted that, after a decade of nearly flat load growth, TVA has experienced nearly 2.5% demand growth from 2020 to 2022. Southern states are the fastest-growing region in the nation, and Tennessee is among the states with the largest rate of population increase for the past year for the entire country. TVA’s service area is expected to exceed 10 million residents in the next Census Bureau report.
TVA anticipates adding 10,000-14,000 megawatts of new resources by the end of this decade to meet the growing power demand from both businesses and homeowners.
“We are aggressively investing in our system, more than $18 billion in capacity expansion and base capital, since 2014,” said Lyash. “In addition, we plan to continue these investments as we work to bring online about 3,800 megawatts of generation to create an energy system that is affordable, reliable, resilient, and clean. Those investments are now paying dividends to Valley families in terms of good jobs, lower power bills and cleaner air, and the Valley Pathways Study can help support our region’s economic competitiveness.”
“The Tennessee Valley is fortunate to have several possible paths for achieving its decarbonization goals,” said Charles Sims, Baker Center Energy and Environment program director. “We look forward to working with all those involved to better understand the broader Valley’s opportunities, needs, and challenges related to these different decarbonization pathways.”
With a 57% carbon reduction against the 2005 benchmark, coupled with no base rate increase since 2019, TVA has helped attract $2.7 billion of business additions and expansions, which is projected to create or retain more than 21,700 jobs, in the first fiscal quarter alone. Over the past five years, those figures are much larger – 346,000 jobs and $47 billion of investment.
The TVA Board also reviewed the agency’s fiscal year 2023 industry-leading decarbonization initiatives guided by its Strategic Priorities and Guiding Principles:
TVA remains focused on protecting consumer pocketbooks. Recent media reports indicate that those who use electricity to heat their homes are expected to pay on average 10 percent more this winter than a year ago.
"Our goal is to do everything possible to keep power bills low to reduce the burden on already tight family budgets,” said TVA’s Chief Financial and Strategy Officer John Thomas. "This winter, our diverse generation fleet is helping provide our region a competitive advantage in terms of lower energy costs.”
Thomas added that TVA’s power grid is over 50% carbon-free, which limits the impact of volatile fuel markets on power bills.
In the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023, TVA reported net income of $101 million on operating revenues of more than $3 billion. While TVA has not increased its base power rates since 2019, this strong financial performance has helped consumers by allowing TVA to return over $500 million in pandemic-related credits to local power companies to help support communities, since the fiscal year 2021.
TVA places a high priority on transparency. Learn more about TVA’s diversity and inclusion efforts, sustainability, strategic planning, financial health, and new nuclear program at tva.com/about-tva/reports.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
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