Tennessee Valley Authority releases its sustainability report

Published on May 13, 2024 by Dave Kovaleski

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The Tennessee Valley Authority, the largest public power provider in America, recently completed its sustainability strategy that is designed to drive it from nearly 60 percent carbon-free energy toward net-zero emissions by 2050.

With the region growing three times faster than the national average and population expected to grow 22 percent by 2050, TVA is poised to meet the challenges ahead. The agency has a multi-prong approach that includes building additional clean, efficient generation and reducing consumption by 30 percent over the next 10 years by investing in energy efficiency and demand response programs.

“TVA was established more than 90 years ago to serve this region by developing innovative solutions to solve complex challenges,” Jeff Lyash, TVA president and CEO, said. “That same purpose guides our work today. We are a national leader in carbon reduction, but we recognize there is more to do. We are meeting the challenges of the region’s growth by developing solutions that will deliver a clean energy future. These efforts will deliver a sustained, competitive advantage to communities across the region.”

To meet the region’s growth, TVA is building more than 3,800 megawatts of additional generation that includes solar, energy storage, combustion turbines and combined-cycle natural gas. Already, 1,400 megawatts of power have been completed with new natural gas facilities in Colbert, Ala, and Paradise, Kent. Also, TVA has secured about 800 megawatts of new solar. In total, TVA has more than 4,000 megawatts of solar energy either in service or under construction.

Here are some of the highlights of the achievements in TVA’s 2023 Sustainability Report.

• Nearly 60 percent of TVA’s power was carbon-free, and the agency is working toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
• TVA’s economic development efforts helped attract $9.2 billion in projected capital investment, which is expected to create 12,000 new jobs and retain 46,000 jobs.
• TVA team members completed 267 biodiversity activities and worked with 132 partners.
• TVA and the Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc. retiree organization contributed $1.5 million toward science, technology, engineering, and math activities in K-12 classrooms. In all, 343 schools received grants, enabling more than 130,000 students to participate in hands-on STEM learning.
• TVA provided $1.1 million to open 27 STEM centers in partnership with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation to support elementary and middle school children in underserved neighborhoods.
• TVA’s Connected Communities initiative donated about $2 million to local communities, supporting economic empowerment, broadband and digital literacy, energy and environmental justice and enhanced community resiliency.
• In partnership with local power companies, the TVA EnergyRight Home Uplift program surpassed 5,000 homes upgraded, valued at $10,000 to $12,000 per home, since its inception in 2018.

Last October, TVA launched a $1.5 billion energy efficiency and demand response program. This program will help homes, schools and businesses become more energy efficient over the next five years. TVA projects the program will offset nearly 30 percent of anticipated load growth and peak demand spikes through 2033. TVA’s goal is to reduce power consumption by 2,200 megawatts.