Tennessee Valley Authority publishes Final 2015 Integrated Resource Plan

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has published its Final 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and associated Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The purpose of the IRP is to determine how TVA can best meet the energy needs of the Tennessee Valley region over the next 20 years while supporting TVA’s mandates for environmental stewardship and economic development.

The Final IRP and EIS are available online here.

TAEBC submits comments to TVA’s draft 2015 IRP

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) members and stakeholders reviewed and offered comments to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in response to its Draft 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).  The IRP takes a 20-year look at ways TVA can meet future demand for electricity beyond that which can be met by existing power sources.

Our response stated that TAEBC members and stakeholders are seizing and want access to advanced energy technologies to increase their competitive edge in the marketplace. Owners of these advanced energy projects currently taking place are leaders within their communities; making early adoptions in technologies that benefit the economy and the bottom line. As these projects become more cost-effective and grid parity is achieved, consumers will meet energy demand based on technology preference and the added value distributed generation adds to their operation. We believe that TVA has the opportunity to partner with private industry to embrace the benefits of advanced energy for the TVA grid, the local power companies and the nine million ratepayers in the Valley.

Companies in the Valley also want access to these advanced energy technologies, and TVA is in a unique position to pilot, incentivize, deploy and evaluate these technologies.  The draft IRP might have included unintended consequences of limiting economic opportunities that advanced energy provides. We believe that TVA should not limit access to the $1.3 trillion dollar industry and should keep its options open when considering how to provide reliable, affordable and clean energy to Tennessee and the Valley.

Partnerships are a valuable mechanism to explore advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. TAEBC was created to serve as a bridge between assets and the private sector to foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy technologies, companies and jobs. We offered to assist TVA in developing partnerships to produce more advanced energy technologies to drive the economy and create more jobs.

In conclusion, TAEBC members and stakeholders are seizing and want access to advanced energy technologies to increase their competitive edge in the marketplace.

We encourage TVA to give thoughtful consideration to how the decisions it makes with its IRP may enhance or hinder economic development opportunities. There is no reason why Tennessee shouldn’t have its fair share of this global, trillion-dollar market economic opportunity.

TVA releases energy plan, holds public meetings

Last Monday, March 9, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released a draft of its 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

The draft long-range energy plan aims to find the best mix of energy sources TVA can rely on over the next 20 years to meet anticipated power demands.

TVA began taking public comments on March 13 and will continue through April 27 as it works toward producing a final version of the plan to be presented to the TVA board this summer.

The comment period will include public meetings and a chance to submit comments to TVA online. A copy of the draft IRP and a related Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement are online at www.tva.com/environment/reports/irp.

A public meeting is being held today in Chattanooga (March 19). Other meetings will be in Knoxville, April 6; Huntsville, Ala., April 9; Tupelo, Miss., April 14; Memphis, April 15; Nashville, April 21; and Bowling Green, Ky., April 22.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

TAEBC and TVA hold webinar to discuss the future of distributed generation in Tennessee

Left to Right: Cortney Piper, Interim Director, TAEBC, Joe Hoagland, Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, TVA, Liz Upchurch, Watershed Representative, TVA

Left to Right: Cortney Piper, TAEBC, Joe Hoagland, Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, TVA, Liz Upchurch, TVA

TAEBC hosted a variety of companies including Nike, FedEx, Lallemand American Yeast, Jones Lang LaSalle, Thompson Power, Siemens Medical and TRANE as well as companies from across the state to discuss the future of distributed generation in Tennessee with Joe Hoagland, Vice President of Stakeholder Relations, TVA.

Joe Hoagland discussed how to model and understand clean energy opportunities from a utility perspective and provided some insight on the future of distributed generation in the Valley.  One thing is certain: distributed generation is gaining in popularity and will continue to grow as part of the region’s energy future.  Commercial and industrial users are interested in low cost, cleaner energy that has high reliability and are exploring distributed generation sources as one way to help achieve these goals.  Yet as distributed generation evolves, it creates challenges to the overall grid system to continue to be low cost and reliable.

So, a key challenge for electric utilities is determining how to respond to marketplace demand for distributed generation while maintaining high reliability and competitive rates. That’s where your input comes in.

Joe Hoagland and TVA encouraged all end users to use him as a resource, in addition to the online resources such as the draft IRP expected in Spring of 2014. TAEBC will also continue to partner with TVA for in-person listening sessions in early 2015. Stay tuned!

For a copy of the webinar presentation, click here.

Three Distinctive Features of Tennessee’s Energy Economy: Part Three

The potential for Tennessee to expand its advanced energy technologies is shaped by its economic factors and unique assets. TAEBC identified three distinctive features of Tennessee’s energy economy that together reflect the challenges and opportunities for the expansion of advanced energy technologies:

  1. High Per-Capita Energy Consumption
  2. A Gap in Personal Income
  3. The Potential of Three Major Players (and Who are They?)

In some recent posts, we have elaborated on Tennessee’s high per-capita energy consumption and a gap in personal income. The final part to this series is discussing the potential of three major players – and explaining who they are.

Initiatives from three distinct components of Tennessee’s economy – the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and the automotive sector, including the massive assembly plants of General Motors, Nissan and Volkswagen – will have a disproportionate influence on the direction and success of the state’s efforts to promote an advanced energy economy. The ability to understand the assets that these three major economic players bring to the discussion, as well as their willingness to combine these assets in support of advanced energy technologies, will to a large extent shape the opportunities for sustained expansion of the advanced energy economy in Tennessee.

While the automotive sector represents what may be the single largest opportunity to expand the use of advanced energy technologies, significant opportunities also exist within other key clusters in which Tennessee, because of geography and a mature industrial base, has a competitive advantage. Examples include logistics, transportation and distribution services, chemical products and plastics, and advanced manufacturing.

Since its creation in the 1930s, TVA has played a major role in the growth of Tennessee’s manufacturing base and, more recently, in efforts to reduce the volume of sulphur and carbon emissions in the state’s air. TVA’s mission includes use of the agency’s resources to improve environmental quality and foster economic development. The scope of TVA’s energy portfolio makes it possible to pilot, incentivize and evaluate a variety of innovative clean technologies.

Increasingly, Tennessee’s inventory of advanced energy technologies is the beneficiary of breakthrough discoveries and initiatives at ORNL, the nation’s largest energy research institution, and the University of Tennessee. The Laboratory is at the forefront of innovation for biofuels, energy storage, solar technology and nuclear power. A close relationship with the University of Tennessee has resulted in the Laboratory becoming a vital part of the state of Tennessee’s economic strategy with successive governors.

In many respects, the initiatives of both TVA and ORNL are responsive to efforts by Tennessee’s automotive manufacturers to promote advanced energy technologies, both in their products and in the operation of their manufacturing facilities. In Smyrna, Nissan has made a historic investment in the design and manufacture of batteries and electric cars in Tennessee. In Chattanooga, Volkswagen operates Tennessee’s largest solar park, where 13 million kilowatt hours are produced annually to power 12 percent of the enormous manufacturing facility.[i] Each of Tennessee’s automotive manufacturers is looking over the horizon to innovative technologies and materials such as carbon fiber that will reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

The last decade has witnessed a growing willingness among the three major entities in Tennessee’s energy economy to partner in the deployment of innovative technologies. TAEBC views the ability to replicate this kind of cooperation as a key factor in expanding Tennessee’s advanced energy economy.

[i] 2012, August 29. Work begins on $30 million solar park at Volkswagen. Chattanooga Times-Free Press. Retrieved from http://www.timesfreepress.com.