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Key Topic

Renewable and Clean Energy

TVA has a renewed vision is to be one of the nation's leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020. To achieve that vision, TVA is increasing renewable power and clean energy in its generation mix. This will help reduce or avoid emissions and improve regional air quality.


Renewable energy is made from fuels that are sustainable or naturally replenished, such as water, wind, biomass and the sun. While nuclear energy is not renewable, it is considered a "clean" energy source because it does not produce emissions like carbon dioxide.

Key points

  • In 2011, more than 40 percent of TVA's energy came from clean or carbon-free sources – nuclear, hydro and renewable power. TVA made or bought more than 17 million megawatthours of renewable energy in 2011, including hydro, wind, solar, landfill gas and wastewater treatment gas.
  • As of March 2012, TVA's operating renewable power capacity was more than 5,600 megawatts, including hydroelectric production at its dams, wind contracts, TVA's Generation Partners and Renewable Standard Offer initiatives, and other TVA-owned wind, solar, landfill methane and biomass generation.
  • TVA's maximum nuclear power capacity is more than 6,600 megawatts. TVA is completing Watts Bar Nuclear Plant Unit 2 and expects it to be online in 2015. TVA also has decided to complete Unit 1 at Bellefonte Nuclear Plant. Both projects support TVA's renewed vision to provide the region with cleaner, low-cost energy.

Other information

  • TVA's Hydro Modernization program has added 565 megawatts of generating capacity to its hydroelectric dams, TVA's first source of renewable energy.
  • As of March 2012, TVA has entered into nine contracts with eight wind farms for the purchase of 1,515 megawatts of energy.
  • TVA also has contracted to purchase almost 5 megawatts from the Chestnut Ridge Landfill Gas facility north of Knoxville and 5 megawatts from the West Tennessee Solar Farm now under construction.
  • In 2000, TVA became the first utility in the Southeast to offer consumers the choice to purchase renewable energy. As of March 2012, the Green Power Switch program has about 11,500 participants. For the Green Power Switch program, TVA developed the Southeast's first wind farm and built more than a dozen solar sites and a methane gas co-firing site, all within the TVA region.
  • Launched in 2003, TVA's Generation Partners pilot program supports homeowners and businesses that install renewable generating resources of their own of 50 kilowatts or less, including wind, low-impact hydro, biomass and solar.
  • As of March 1, 2012, there are 47.5 megawatts of solar capacity operational today and another 61 megawatts in the development pipeline for a total of nearly 109 megawatts of solar generation currently operating or approved in the Tennessee Valley. Since 2000, operating solar installations in the Tennessee Valley have grown from 3 to over 860.
  • TVA has issued a Renewable Standard Offer to purchase energy from solar, wind, methane and biomass projects ranging from greater than 50 kilowatts to 20 megawatts. TVA will buy the energy at fixed rates from 4 to 16 cents per kilowatt-hour (varies by season, day, and time of day). Since its launch in October 2010, the Standard Offer has four projects with the potential for 7.6 megawatts of renewable generation.

April 2012



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