What Could TVA Do, If No One Was Looking?

Recently, two southeastern utilities found themselves facing scandal head-on as major projects fell apart, leaving the utility – and potentially customers – covering lost costs that add up to billions of dollars. Both Southern Company’s Kemper County integrated gasification combined cycle plant and SCE&G’s VC Summer nuclear plant serve as important reminders that decision making [...]

Is TVA Causing a Solar [Market] Eclipse?

TenneSEIA, the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association, issued a press release yesterday about TVA’s decision to continue restricting the Green Power Providers program. TVA is withdrawing support for solar power and, much like the solar eclipse we’ll all see on Monday, TVA is blocking the sun.

Walking in Memphis—Just Feet Above a Coal Ash Cesspool

Memphis residents now have another reason to sing the blues. Last week, the nation’s largest public utility, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), admitted that the groundwater beneath its Allen coal-burning power plant is poisoned with astronomically high amounts of arsenic. Levels of the potent carcinogen measure nearly 400 times the federal limit for drinking water. In addition, lead in the groundwater is more than four times the standard.

A Penny Shared is a Penny Used to Lift Energy Burdens in Memphis

More often than not, Memphians rely on each other in the face of a challenge, so it’s only appropriate that now, when other options are unavailable in the short-term, Memphians are turning to each other to help lift unnecessarily high energy burdens that are contributing to an intergenerational cycle of poverty. The Share the Pennies program, which came out of a community-driven effort to find relief for burdened communities, is betting that Memphians will once again come to each other’s aid in the short-term, as we continue to fight for long-term solutions from sources outside our communities.

Does “SMR” stand for “Squandering More Resources?”

What does the acronym “SMR” stand for? If you’re talking about plans for TVA’s Clinch River Site near Kingston, Tennessee there may be multiple answers. TVA and nuclear industry proponents would say you’re referring to a plan to possibly build up to 800 megawatts of new nuclear power technology known as Small Modular Reactors. But for those of us concerned with yet another untested, risky nuclear scheme, it stands for “Squandering More Resources” or “Squandering Money and Resources” on something that is clearly not needed, which TVA itself recently stated.

Pruitt EPA Should Deny New Utility Move to Weaken Federal Coal Ash Rule

Like last month’s stay on the water discharge rule, a potential stay on the Coal Ash Rule extends unconscionable risk for the people who live near coal ash pits, which can rupture or leak toxics into drinking water, while pandering to corporate utilities that have gotten away with dangerous waste handling for decades.

Pruitt EPA’s Water Pollution Delay Extends Uncertainty for Southeast Coal Plants

Since 1982, little has changed about the toxic pollution coal-fired power plants are allowed to dump in water, although change was on its way. Unfortunately, if EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has his way, our waterways and our health will remain threatened by our nation’s leading source of toxic water pollution – coal fired power plants. We will have to keep on waiting for modern, updated protections and coal plant operators face continued uncertainty over their compliance obligations – uncertainty that may actually accelerate coal’s decline. In early May, Environmental groups challenged the legality Administrator Pruitt’s stay.

In the Southeast, many power plants’ operators were already preparing to meet new 2015 standards, which would go into effect in 2018, updating pollution control technology at their plants and working with state agencies to update state water discharge permits. The 2015 Effluent Limitation Guidelines (ELGs), which represents the first update to these regulations since 1982, nearly eliminates dumping of ash-contaminated wastewater, and for the first time, limits the discharge of toxic heavy metals that come from removing toxics from the air pollution stream and trapping them in sludge as part of the wastewater stream.

What’s Wrong With This Picture? TVA’s So-Called Coal Ash “Solution”

The Tennessee Valley Authority is planning to “clean up” 13.4 million tons of coal ash by capping it in place. Our new animation shows why cap in place is not a solution for unlined ash pits: it doesn’t keep ash separated from groundwater. Click the image on the left to watch the 30-second clip, and then [...]

Clearing the Air: Lamar Alexander, You’re Wrong About Wind Power

Sen. Alexander says that wind power is expensive. However, his information is outdated. With its considerable wind energy resources, Oklahoma had the lowest electricity prices in the country last year. Tennessee ranked #28. Analysis by Leidos Electrical shows that Plains and Eastern Clean Line project could more than likely reduce electric rates in the Tennessee Valley, and beyond. In November 2016, Lazard Associates published their annual Levelized Cost of Energy analysis showing that the lowest cost wind power resources reach $14/MWh (1.4 cents per kilowatt hour, kWh). A new report from Moody’s Investor Services reports wind power prices for $15/MWh (1.5 cents per kWh). In 2015, Georgia Power received wind power proposals with pricing of $15.77/MWh (1.577 cents per kWh). As an already-operating wind project, the Balko Wind project in western Oklahoma sold wind power to the Public Service Company of Oklahoma for $15.80/MWh (1.58 cents per kWh). HVDC transmission charges may add an additional 2 cents per kWh. Additionally, TVA can earn revenue by using their existing transmission system to “wheel” low-cost wind power to power-hungry neighbors.

Black History Month Energy Leaders Blog Series: Lynn Evans Becomes First African American Woman to Lead TVA Board

For the first time in its 83-year old history, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has an African-American woman leading its Board of Directors. It is also the first time someone from Memphis, which is home to TVA’s largest customer Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), has held the Board chair. V. Lynn Evans was named as the new TVA Board Chair after the former TVA Board Chair, Joe Ritch, ended his term on January 3, 2017. In these polarizing times, we celebrate the fact that one of our largest utilities in the Southeast has appointed a qualified leader like Ms. Evans – and broken with history by appointing a woman to Board chair for the first time. As one local Memphis publication put it – Ms. Evans is “a ‘first’ on three fronts.”