TVA Falls Short on Commitment to Affordable Clean Energy in its Long-Range Plan
Knoxville, TN – The Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Energy Resource Council (RERC) met today to review recommendations on TVA’s updated 2015 Integrated Resource Plan, the long-range plan for meeting regional energy needs over the next twenty years. The RERC is a 20-member group established to advise TVA on its energy resource activities and priorities.
The federal utility released its draft Integrated Resource Plan in March and accepted public comments on its proposed energy plan through the end of April. The Southern Environmental Law Center and Sierra Club submitted comments calling for TVA to deepen its investment in energy efficiency and wind energy, which TVA’s own studies have shown are cost-competitive with natural gas.
While TVA promised to become a regional leader in energy efficiency in its 2011 IRP, the proposed planning direction slashes energy efficiency goals and misses the opportunity to help TVA customers save energy, lower electric bills, and create clean energy jobs in the Valley.
“TVA’s own studies prove that energy efficiency and wind energy are cost-competitive with dirtier fuel sources, and TVA customers deserve the chance to choose clean energy and lower electric bills,” Anne Davis, Regional Energy Resource Council member and Managing Attorney at Southern Environmental Law Center. “We are disappointed that TVA appears to be unwilling to significantly increase its commitment to affordable clean energy resources that reduce fossil fuel pollution and protect our community’s health, air, and climate.”
“Our future does not lie in old, dirty coal or more gas plants, but in making our homes more efficient, lowering electricity bills, and creating a wave of innovation in wind and solar industries,” said Jonathan Levenshus Senior Campaign Representative for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign. “TVA's staff is simply missing an opportunity, since better efficiency and renewable options are cheaper, more sustainable and create jobs right here in the Tennessee Valley. TVA's Board must ensure that that our future is powered by affordable, reliable clean energy options when they review this plan in August.”
TVA will continue to refine the proposed planning direction between now and mid-July. The TVA Board will consider the proposed planning direction at a board meeting scheduled for August 21, 2015.
About the Southern Environmental Law Center: The Southern Environmental Law Center is a regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of about 60 legal and policy experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use. www.SouthernEnvironment.org
About Sierra Club: Tennessee Sierra is a Chapter of the world’s oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization. With 44,000 members and supporters in every county across the state, we have the resources to empower people and to influence public policy through community activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation. www.SierraClub.org/Tennessee