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TVA releases draft plan for agency's future

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The Tennessee Valley Authority has issued a draft of its Integrated Resource Plan, a comprehensive study that will help guide efforts to meet regional electricity needs over the next 20 years.

Titled “TVA’s Environmental and Energy Future,” the study analyzes potential combinations of economic and regulatory trends in the coming years and provides recommendations for addressing them.

The plan’s main purpose is to help TVA meet the region’s future energy challenges in ways that maintain reliable power supplies, competitive prices, improved environmental performance and continued financial strength.

TVA’s yearlong analysis included input from numerous stakeholders including state agencies, power distributors, environmental groups, universities and the general public. The study yielded several likely probabilities for TVA, including:

• Nuclear expansion will continue, with the potential to eventually overtake coal as the leading electricity source.

• TVA may idle a portion of its coal generation fleet, as coal units become older and less economical under tighter regulations.

• Energy efficiency and demand response, as well as renewable generation, will play an increasing role in future resource options.

• Natural gas capacity additions will be a viable resource option and a key source of generation flexibility for TVA.

• The intensity of TVA’s carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions will continue to decrease.

The Integrated Resource Plan process also developed various possible strategies that TVA might use to meet the region’s future power needs.

Each strategy was analyzed to create 20-year power generation portfolios — or combinations of electricity resources — for TVA to consider.

TVA will hold four public meetings to receive comments on the draft plan. Meetings are scheduled in Bowling Green, Ky., on Oct. 5; in Olive Branch, Miss., on Oct. 7; in Knoxville on Oct. 13; and in Huntsville, Ala., on Oct 14. The meetings also will be available by webinar.

The Integrated Resource Plan and the Environmental Impact Statement are posted on TVA’s website at www.tva.com/irp.