Tennessee Valley Authority’s All-of-the-Above Energy Approach Turns up the Heat During Winter Storms 

As harsh winter storms swept across the United States, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) demonstrated an all-of-the-above energy portfolio is key to a reliable, affordable and cleaner power grid that can withstand freezing temperatures.  

Last week, TVA avoided rolling blackouts and shattered its power demand record by over a thousand megawatts, ensuring its customers were able to stay warm despite single-digit temperatures and negative wind chills. TVA followed this up a few days later also by setting a record for the highest weekend power demand.  

Generating power for 10 million people in seven states is no small task. So, how did TVA do it? The answer is simple and one that CRES Forum unequivocally supports: An all-of-the-above energy approach.  

TVA’s energy portfolio embraces reliable baseload power like nuclear energy and natural gas while also incorporating renewables such as solar and hydro power. The electricity TVA delivers is 60 percent carbon-free, and the agency has plans of adding another ten-thousand megawatts of solar generation to its grid by 2035. TVA also has three nuclear plants that have an average generating capacity of 8,275 megawatts of electricity every day and is continuously keeping a pulse on new technologies in clean energy.  

“There is the need to provide affordable, reliable, resilient and clean energy that all comes together at the same time, so when I think about innovation for us, it’s all-of-the-above. It’s about being really psyched about the new technologies that are coming along and creating those partnerships but understanding that in order to manage our basic principles, particularly around reliability and resiliency, it’s a delicate balancing act,” said TVA’s Executive Vice President and Chief External Relations Officer 

Jeannette Mills on a panel during National Clean Energy Week (NCEW) 2023.

Jeannette Mills appears in a panel discussion during National Clean Energy Week, on September 28, 2023.

After Winter Storm Elliot in 2022, which caused rolling power blackouts, TVA made extensive changes and invested nearly $123 million to improve reliability and resiliency against extreme weather.  In 2023, TVA also brought on two new generation facilities powered by natural gas—adding 1500 megawatts of affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to their portfolio.  

It goes without saying that TVA’s all-of-the-above strategy is working to keep the lights and heat on as winter is back in full force.  

To learn more about how winter weather impacts power demand, check out TVA’s short video HERE.  

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