TVA approves $10.6 billion budget and a plan to add up to 14 GW of solar power by 2038
Energize Weekly, August 28, 2019
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) board of directors at their August meeting approved a $10.6 billion budget for 2020 and a resource plan that could include up to 14 gigawatts (GW) of new solar capacity by 2038.
The TVA, a federal agency, provides electricity to business customers and local power distributors serving 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. The budget holds wholesale power rates at current levels.
The budget sets strategic priorities through 2030, and the integrated resource plan (IRP) lays out plans for managing load through 2040.
“The energy market continues to evolve and the IRP helps provide us flexible ways to keep delivering safe, reliable and cleaner power at the lowest feasible cost while supporting efficient use of energy,” Jeff Lyash, TVA’s president and CEO, said in a statement.
The IRP seeks to reduce TVA’s so-called carbon footprint, a measure of its emissions, in part through the addition of renewable generation and storage, along with energy efficiency and demand management programs.
Among the elements in the IRP are:
- The addition of up to 1.8 GW of wind power by 2028 and 4.2 GW by 2038 “if cost effective”
- Adding between 1.5 and 8 GW of solar by 2028 and up to 14 GW by 2038 “if a high level of load growth materializes”
- The addition of up to 2.4 GW of storage by 2028 and up to 5.3 GW in 2040. “The trajectory and timing of additions will be highly dependent on the evolution of storage technologies,” TVA said.
- Achieving energy savings of up to 1.8 GW by 2028 and 2.2 GW by 2038 through energy efficiency programs
The IRP also calls for getting a secondary license renewal for the Browns Ferry nuclear power plant for an additional 20 years and adding between 800 megawatts and 5.7 GW of combined-cycle natural gas plants by 2028 and up to 9.8 GW by 2038, “if a high level of load growth materializes.”
At its meeting, the board approved an initiative to modify TVA’s regulatory policies to provide local power companies with options in financing investments to support broadband while maintaining oversight to ensure electric system operations do not subsidize other utility functions.