How much solar and wind will Georgia utility regulators allow?

Our followers on social media think the answer should be “as much as possible,” but in our brief SACE argues in favor of a cap of 2,500 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, likely to be mainly solar and wind. Georgia Power has proposed only 525 MW, and other parties have signaled interest in 1,200 MW or 2,000 MW. What’s remarkable about this “debate” is that everyone involved agrees that whatever the number, Georgia Power customers will end up saving money as these projects will cost less than the projected cost of generating power. This approach to developing renewable energy has been led by Commissioner Bubba McDonald.

February 2016 – SACE’s Wired In Newsletter

Enjoy SACE’s Wired In newsletter for the month of February, where staff provides updates on energy issues across the Southeast.

Is TVA’s New Integrated Resource Plan a Wise Path Forward?

In reflecting on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) in a recent blog, our research director pointed out that “TVA’s 20-year plan looks at the ground we stand on, sketches some ideas for tomorrow, but does not really scan future horizons.” So, what should TVA’s Board do to take this plan from sketches to concrete action?

If TVA Reinvented its Fire

One of the questions I often get asked is what it would take for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA),  or any other large utility, to move to 100% renewable energy and energy efficiency. That question comes up more and more often as people learn about TVA’s  2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Even though TVA’s IRP [...]

Low Cost Path for Southern Company to Comply with EPA’s Clean Power Plan

With the US Environmental Protection Agency poised to release its final Clean Power Plan rule, some utilities have raised alarm about the rule’s cost. Some of those same voices have raised alarms about reliability, but as I wrote in May, cutting carbon pollution won’t make the sky fall. Today we release Cleaner Energy for Southern Company, [...]

TVA Advisory Board Meeting Gives Preview of Final 2015 IRP

Today, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Energy Resource Council (RERC) ended two days of meetings in which they were given a preview of the recommendations in TVA’s forthcoming 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). SACE staff have played an integral part in both the 2011 and 2015 IRP planning process, serving on each of the various [...]

A Bright, Sunny Forecast for the Tennessee Valley

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is farsighted, not shortsighted, when it comes to its efforts to evaluate and plan for solar power in its future. The 2015 Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) provides the clearest, sharpest look ever by a Southeastern utility at solar energy as a resource – and not a threat – to this amazing, clean energy opportunity. [...]

Is TVA Undervaluing Wind Energy?

TVA recently released its Draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). An IRP is a planning exercise to determine utility power plant needs 20 years into the future. The exercise depends on inputs (such as cost and performance data for various power plant types, including wind farms) to develop outputs and recommendations. Some of TVA’s most important inputs for wind power are a bit opaque – especially cost and performance data. But based on the IRP outputs, it appears that the inputs for wind energy are stuck in TVA’s wind energy glory days and are about a decade out of date.

TVA 2015 Draft IRP Views Clean Energy Through a Blurred Lens

If you’re like me, you are nostalgic for the days when the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) brought innovation, increased economic development and low-cost energy to the Tennessee Valley.  TVA’s recently released draft 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) outlines five alternate energy scenarios under which TVA could implement various resource planning strategies to meet both short- and [...]

TVA Board Approves Retirement of Allen Coal Plant in Memphis

Today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors voted unanimously to retire all three coal-fired units of the Allen Fossil Plant (990 MW) in Memphis and approved replacement with a new 1,000 MW natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plant. TVA plans to build the new 1,000 MW NGCC plant directly across from the current [...]