Today, the Tennessee Valley Authority released its draft 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) detailing how the federal utility will generate electricity in the future.
The draft plan reflects TVA’s considerable commitment to resource planning and public engagement. It also takes significant steps in the right direction, such as confirming that TVA can readily reduce emissions to facilitate state compliance with EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. However, there are still serious concerns about the development of clean energy resources that must be addressed before the Board of Directors approves a final plan in August.
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Sierra Club, and Southern Environmental Law Center will fully review the draft plan and will prepare technical comments to submit to TVA staff by the end of April.
As members of TVA’s IRP Working Group, these clean energy groups were joined by energy industry experts to supply TVA with established data on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar during the plan’s drafting process. This information demonstrated why these clean energy resources are the most affordable and prudent choices for generating electricity in the Tennessee Valley.
Although TVA has taken an important step by approaching energy efficiency as an energy resource, the draft plan ultimately represents a missed opportunity to help TVA customers save energy, lower electricity bills, and foster a robust, clean energy economy in the Valley.
TVA promised to become a regional leader in energy efficiency in its 2011 IRP – yet TVA has repeatedly cut its energy efficiency budget, and the draft plan would slash the efficiency goals approved by the Board of Directors in 2011.