TVA Board Acts to Ensure Future Flexibility, Efficient Generation System

Feb 14, 2019

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. ― The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors today acted on a recommendation to better balance TVA’s current generation system with changing energy load demands. This decision will help ensure continued reliability while maintaining rates as low as feasible.

After a detailed review of fuel, transmission, economic and environmental impacts, as well as reviewing public input, the Board approved the retirement of Paradise Unit 3 and the Bull Run facility. Both are older coal generating units that were not designed to efficiently respond to today’s continually fluctuating power needs of customers.

“Making decisions that impact employees and communities is difficult as we fulfill our commitment to keep power rates as low as possible,’” said TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson. “We value the contributions of the employees of Paradise and Bull Run, and we will be working directly with them and local communities to ease the transition as much as possible.”

The board also approved new renewable solutions that will better equip TVA and local power companies with the flexibility to meet changing customer needs. “Over the past six months, TVA has worked with solar developers to add 674 megawatts of additional renewable energy to meet customer requests, and this trend is continuing to grow,” said Johnson. “TVA and local power companies are partnering on research projects that will help us better address the desire for choice in energy while continuing the benefits of reliable, low-cost public power for the Valley.”

TVA’s draft Integrated Resource Plan points to an even greater movement toward solar energy balanced by other generation sources over the next 20 years. The draft IRP will be released for additional public comment on Friday, Feb. 15.         

A continuing focus on TVA’s mission of energy, environmental stewardship and economic development delivered increased value to the Valley in the first quarter of the 2019 fiscal year:

  • Reliably delivered the second-highest November energy demand during an early cold spell.
  • Generated 42 percent more hydroelectric energy than the same three months a year ago.
  • Completed the second of three extended power uprates at Browns Ferry, with each adding 155 megawatts of carbon-free energy.
  • Safely managed the highest annual rainfall total recorded in 129 years — more than 16 inches above normal.
  • Helped create more than 25,000 jobs and $4.3 billion in capital investment, including expansions of Volkswagen in Chattanooga and Amazon facilities in Nashville and Marshall County, Mississippi.

“Our work over the past five years executing our long-range financial plan allows us to offset seasonal variations and still keep effective rates low,” said TVA Chief Financial Officer John Thomas. “Perhaps more importantly, our efforts continue to reduce TVA’s debt — now at its lowest level in 25 years — and will allow us to maintain low rates in the future.”

In other business, the board:

  • Elected a new Board Chair to a two-year term beginning on May 19, 2019. Director James “Skip” Thompson will take over from current Board Chair Richard Howorth.
  • Updated the Board Practice on the use of TVA aircraft to formalize recently implemented improvements.
  • Agreed to discontinue the existing Green Power Providers (GPP) program at the end of 2019 and develop new programs in partnership with local power companies.
  • Approved a metering standard that is decoupled from GPP.
  • Recognized Marjorie Parsons, the recipient of the 2019 TVA Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year Award.
  • Approved a resolution honoring the service of TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson, who announced his upcoming retirement at the Board’s November 2018 meeting.

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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