Energy Alabama has signed on to public comments on the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) draft 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (draft IRP) and accompanying draft Environmental Impact Statement. The comments were developed in conjunction with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) Tennessee Environmental Council, Gasp, Tennessee Clean Water Network, Harpeth Conservancy, Alabama Rivers Alliance, and Protect Our Aquifer (collectively referred to below as “Conservation Groups”).
The way TVA provides electricity has far-reaching effects on the Tennessee Valley, the Southeast region, and beyond. The results presented in the draft IRP highlight that—no matter what the future holds—a strategy that promotes and leverages distributed energy resources (DER), including energy efficiency, demand-response, distributed solar, and storage will best achieve TVA’s statutory mandate to provide electricity at the lowest system cost, as well as its mission to improve the quality of life in the Valley through the integrated management of the region’s resources.
Although the study confirms that DER is competitive with, and preferable to, a traditional supply-side approach, we Conservation Groups believe that, as presented, the draft IRP underestimates the potential for DER to contribute to the future of the Valley’s grid.
Additionally, Energy Alabama has submitted independent comments regarding non-technical and process concerns. The full comments are available here, and can be summarized at a high level with the following bullet points:
- Non-disclosure agreements for IRPWG members stifle discussion and are unnecessary
- The IRPWG needs actual power to influence the IRP
- TVA should refrain from changing programs during an IRP
- TVA should have explicitly shown the IRPGW material changes between the 2015 IRP and the 2019 draft IRP
- TVA should pursue a distributed IRP with all possible speed