TVA wants to let local power companies generate their own distributed energy, seeks public input

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is seeking public input on a draft Environmental Assessment that considers the environmental impacts of enabling local power companies (LPCs) generate a portion of their load to meet customer needs.

Under the proposed power supply flexibility option, the 138 LPCs who have currently entered into Long-Term Partnership Agreements with TVA have the option to reduce the amount of energy they buy from TVA by generating up to 5% of their average energy needs and put the locally generated energy on their distribution system for customers’ use.

Locally generated energy could take the form of solar power plants, wind farms, small biomass facilities, fuel cells or other smaller forms of distributed generation.

Enabling power supply flexibility supports TVA’s 2019 Integrated Resource Plan and the utility’s strategic financial plan. Both plans anticipate a future in which distributed generation will continue to grow to help reduce carbon emissions.

TVA says it already has nearly 60% carbon-free energy generation and increasing local generation provides opportunity to improve the region’s carbon position.

Please note that due to current federal requirements for employees to work remotely to prevent the spread of COVID-19, TVA recommends that the public submit comments by email or online to ensure timely review and consideration. 

TVA must receive comments by May 4, 2020. Details of the EA including how to submit comments are available here.

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Jennifer Runyon has been studying and reporting about the world's transition to clean energy since 2007. As editor of the world's largest renewable energy publication, Renewable Energy World, she observed, interviewed experts about, and reported on major clean energy milestones including Germany's explosive growth of solar PV, the formation and development of the U.S. onshore wind industry, the U.K. offshore wind boom, China's solar manufacturing dominance, the rise of energy storage, the changing landscape for utilities and grid operators and much, much, more. Today, in addition to managing content on POWERGRID International, she also serves as the conference advisory committee chair for DISTRIBUTECH, a globally recognized conference for the transmission and distribution industry. You can reach her at

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