TVA's Clean Energy Energizes Region’s Economic Growth
- TVA's Board announced a Valley Pathways Study that will help drive continued economic competitiveness of the region by accelerating a clean-energy economy.
- TVA has one of the nation’s largest, most diverse, and cleanest generation portfolios which mitigates the impact of volatile fuel markets.
- TVA has provided local power companies more than $500 million in pandemic-related credits to help support communities across the region.
- TVA’s base rates have remained unchanged for four years.
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:
- Developed advanced nuclear technology partnerships to help the research, development, and deployment.
- Reviewed the Southeast Hydrogen Hub proposal with the U.S. Department of Energy who encouraged it to advance to the application stage.
- Announced the multi-phase plan to retire the two-unit coal-fired Cumberland Fossil Plant and build a combined-cycle natural gas plant at Cumberland to replace some of the generation by 2026.
- Signed four power purchase agreements for a total of 160 megawatts of solar generation expected to come online in 2025, in support of TVA’s plan to add 10,000 megawatts of solar by 2035.
TVA continues to focus on affordability
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.
In other business, the TVA Board:
- Welcomed the six new Board members to their first quarterly meeting and made committee assignments for the year.
- Voted to extend Bill Kilbride’s term as Board Chair until the day before the Board’s scheduled November 2023 meeting and approved Director Joe Ritch’s selection as Chair-Elect, assuming the Chair role for the November 2023 meeting.
- Honored Dr. Stephen Craven, as TVA’s engineer of the year, for developing an architecture that makes critical communications between electrical substations faster, safer and more secure. Craven is one of the top 10 finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year Award, which will be presented Feb. 24 at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.
- Received a Winter Storm Elliott after-action update to ensure the agency is taking every step necessary to prevent outages. The Board will receive the final report when it is completed.
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.