The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) said it will invest more than $2 billion in cleaner energy sources in the upcoming year despite reducing its budget for fiscal year 2017.
TVA’s Board of Directors approved the company’s capital plan and $10.37 billion budget for fiscal year 2017, which is $330 million less than the prior year. Johnson said the utility continues to diversify its generation fleet, including completing Watts Bar nuclear Unit 2, new natural gas units expected to begin commercial operation next summer at the Paradise plant in Kentucky, and the Allen gas plant in Tennessee that is nearing 25 percent completion and scheduled to begin operations in 2018. TVA is also investing more than a billion dollars in environmental upgrades at the Gallatin coal-fired power plant in Tennessee and the Shawnee plant in Kentucky. In 2015, 13 percent of the electricity that TVA bought or generated was derived from renewables, including hydro.
TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson pointed out in his report to the Board that energy demand was not growing and has been essentially flat for the past five years. “We expect load growth to stay flat for the foreseeable future,” Johnson said. “Our market is changing, and we and our customers are working to adapt to new business conditions that include reduced energy needs and increased demand for energy efficiencies and renewables.”
The utility also announced the start of a new business unit focused on distributed energy resources, and signed a seven-year contract with Day & Zimmermann for nuclear maintenance and modifications services.