Distributed Energy Resources

TVA Study Will Examine Creating Pathways to Clean Energy Economy

The Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors on Feb. 16 announced plans to move forward with a study that will look at all segments of the economy to accelerate the region's clean-energy economy.

Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO, said 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 that will allow for adoption of 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 a statement. “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.”  

With a 57% carbon reduction against the 2005 benchmark, coupled with no base rate increase since 2019, TVA noted that it 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.