Tennessee Valley Authority, or TVA, is leading by example. Its officials agreed to buy 2,000 megawatts of power from clean alternative energy sources, such as wind and solar generators. This is in connection with their Energy Right Program. The program aims to encourage, communicate and support the smart and effective use of electricity in Valley homes.
TVA’s board of directors has approved for the utility company to negotiate with third party distributors of renewable energy. TVA Vice President Van Wardlaw stated that his company had received at least 60 proposals for alternative energy generation, the majority of which are for wind power from the Midwest.
This is just in time for the expected federal mandate that electric utility companies generate a portion of their power from clean alternative sources. Congress is still debating on a law which will require at least 20 percent of any electric utility’s power to be sourced from biomass, wind, solar, or hydropower.
TVA also plans to have half of their power supply coming from clean and renewable sources by 2020. As early as June of this year, TVA will be signing contracts with various clean energy suppliers – as long as the price is viable.
TVA’s President and CEO Tom Kilgore has this to say about their goal:
It is our goal to reduce TVA’s environmental footprint by increasing the renewable and clean energy resources in our generation mix. Renewable energy and energy efficiency will be part of our clean energy portfolio that has zero or near-zero carbon emissions, which will help reduce the impacts of climate change.
Despite the TVA’s Kingston Fossil Plant fiasco, where its ash dike broke and spilled coal fly ash slurry into the Clinch River and its neighboring waterways, TVA has always been concerned about environmental issues. The company, together with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, built five zero-energy homes in Lenoir City, Tennessee. These structures are made with the end goal of producing their own energy. The structures’ design incorporates the most energy efficient features possible, for cooling and heating, lighting, and solar power. They may not have achieved a fully sustainable zero energy home yet, but this can be achieved once clean energy technology is improved.
TVA is one of the biggest power providers in the USA, and other utilities should follow in its footsteps. If everyone has their mind set on providing cleaner energy, then the world’s future would be brighter and greener.