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TVA Celebrates 90th Anniversary, Outlines Plan to Double Solar Energy Capacity

May 10, 2023
  • TVA's Board recognizes the agency’s 90th anniversary and invites the public to sign up for their chance to tour a historic dam.
  • TVA is addressing the region’s record-growing demand, which is six times the national average. TVA continues to aggressively invest in current generation while also building new energy sources.
  • TVA is moving forward with detailed reviews of approximately 6,000 megawatts of solar energy and energy storage, which would more than double TVA’s solar capacity. 
  • TVA’s releases its sustainability report, which highlights the agency’s commitment to providing affordable and reliable energy, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy – now and for future generations.  

NORRIS, Tenn.  ― The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday recognized the agency’s 90th anniversary milestone and outlined the agency’s plan to double its solar energy capacity while supporting the Tennessee Valley region’s record-growing demand.  

“TVA’s mission of service is just as important today as it was 90 years ago,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “We were created as an innovation company, and we will use that same innovative spirit and mission of service as we address today’s challenges. Our region is experiencing growth at six times the national average, which means we must invest in our current power system and build new generation so we can continue meeting our region’s demand.

“As our economy continues to grow and electrify, we are becoming more dependent on electricity in our daily lives. That energy must be affordable, reliable, resilient, and clean. We are standing at an intersection, and we want to ensure we continue to provide our region with the energy security that it expects and deserves – now and for generations to come.”

Adding 3800+ megawatts in new generation

To meet the challenge, TVA has invested $18 billion in capacity expansion and base capital since 2014. Currently, TVA is building about 3,800 megawatts of new generation, including combustion turbines, solar projects, combined-cycle natural gas, and energy storage. Through 2027, TVA will invest $2.8 billion in transmission upgrades – including a new state-of-the-art Primary System Operations Center - to prepare for growth and increased energy capacity.     

“There is no one answer to achieving our region’s and nation’s clean energy goals,” said Lyash. “We are committed to developing potential pathways to a clean energy future. We must rapidly expand our clean energy resources such as solar, new nuclear, and pumped storage – and we are moving aggressively, including potentially doubling our solar energy capacity.”   

Last June, in an effort to explore all options, TVA issued the nation’s largest-ever request for clean energy – 5,000 megawatts. From this effort, TVA expects to begin awarding bids for up to 6,000 megawatts of solar energy and energy storage within the next 60 days. This could double the amount of solar energy on TVA’s system. The approximately 40 projects represented could start coming online as early as 2026. TVA’s goal is to add 10,000 megawatts of solar by 2035. 

TVA’s carbon reduction leadership extends beyond renewable energy. In March, TVA announced a partnership with Ontario Power Generation (Canada), Synthos (Poland) and GE Hitachi to develop new nuclear technologies in the form of Small Modular Reactors (SMR). Lyash believes working together – with government and industry – to develop SMR technology will help the nation meet its carbon reduction and energy security goals.

Sustainability Matters

The board also recognized the release of TVA’s fourth Sustainability Report, which highlights that in the first six months of FY23, nearly 60% of the energy TVA produced was carbon-free coming from nuclear, hydroelectric and solar energy. “TVA remains committed to building a better tomorrow for the people it serves today,” said Rebecca Tolene, TVA chief sustainability officer. “For TVA, sustainability means looking beyond ourselves and leading carbon reductions across the broader economy to ensure we provide  affordable and reliable energy, a healthy environment and a prosperous economy. We’ve made great progress, but there is more to do as we accelerate and expand carbon-free technologies without impacting power affordability, reliability or resiliency.” 

Tolene reviewed some of TVA’ sustainability successes during the meeting which include: 

  • Announced partnership with the Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee to study ways all segments of the economy can reduce emissions and move the region toward a clean, secure energy future 
  • Helped attract more than $10 billion in projected capital investments – with 26,512 jobs expected to be created and 40,027 jobs retained  
  • Sponsored 449 total environmental outreach and stewardship projects across the region 
  • Completed 120 biodiversity projects and initiatives 
  • Prevented an estimated $3 million in flood damage along the Tennessee River 
  • Donated more than $9 million in community contributions and disaster relief 
  • Advanced its Environmental Justice Program to help address disproportionate health, environmental, economic and climate impacts on disadvantaged communities 

In other business, the TVA Board:  

  • Approved the BVU Authority Power Contract Amendment
  • Approved the Proposed Endorsement and Delegation Amendment

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  

About TVA’s 90th Anniversary

On May 18, 1933, President Roosevelt signed the TVA Act creating the agency - initially tasked with navigation, flood control and economic development.

Today, TVA does more than provide electricity to over 10 million people across seven states. TVA has adapted over time to make the region an economic powerhouse while protecting our natural resources. TVA operates one of the cleanest and lowest-cost power grids in the nation, manages 293,000 acres of public lands and is a driving force behind many of the multi-billion-dollar economic development projects.

To celebrate the 90th anniversary and successes, TVA employees will participate in a Day of Service on May 18. Thousands of employees will volunteer in their communities. TVA’s goal is to impact all 210 counties in its service territory. The Board also invites the public to sign up for their chance to tour one of TVA’s historic dams. Visit to sign up for a dam tour and see a list of TVA community events.

About TVA

The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation’s largest public power supplier, delivering energy to 10 million people across seven southeastern states. TVA was established 90 years ago to serve this region and the nation by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges. TVA’s unique mission focuses on energy, environmental stewardship, and economic development. With one of the largest, most diverse, and cleanest energy systems – including nuclear, hydro, solar, gas, and advanced technologies – TVA is a leader in our nation’s drive toward a clean energy future.

TVA is a corporate agency of the United States, receiving 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.


Scott Fiedler
Public Relations
[email protected]

TVA Media Line

Our media staff is available 24 hours a day. If you cannot reach the contact above, please call our media line at 865-632-6000.

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