Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 33,700 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA`s service territory are below the national average.
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- Business Type:
- Service provider
- Industry Type:
- Energy Utilities
- Market Focus:
- Nationally (across the country)
Our enduring mission
TVA has a rich history of improving quality of life and economic prosperity for people and businesses in the TVA service area. Down through the years, as times have changed, TVA has changed with them, updating and refining its focus to better serve its enduring mission in:
- Affordable electricity
- Economic and agricultural development
- Environmental stewardship
- Integrated river system management, and
- Technological innovation
Our renewed vision
While TVA’s mission has not changed, the environment in which TVA does business continues to evolve. Facing challenging economic conditions, tougher new environmental standards, the need to modernize its generating fleet and changing customer needs, TVA recognized a need to refine its strategic vision for the future.
In August 2010, the TVA board of directors adopted a renewed vision that will help TVA lead the Tennessee Valley region and the nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future, relying more on nuclear power and energy efficiency and less on coal.
TVA’s renewed vision is to be one of the nation’s leading providers of low-cost and cleaner energy by 2020. More specifically, TVA intends to be:
- The nation’s leader in improving air quality
- The nation’s leader in increased nuclear production
- The Southeast’s leader in increased energy efficiency
Improving air quality
In support of its renewed vision, TVA has invested $5.3 billion already to reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide at its coal plants about 90 percent from their peak levels. In 2011, TVA announced plans to idle 2,700 megawatts of its oldest and least-efficient coal plants and review other units. TVA is more than offsetting this idled capacity by expanding its fleet of cleaner natural-gas fired combustion turbines and increasing its investment in nuclear power.
Increasing nuclear production
TVA is completing Unit 2 at its Watts Bar Nuclear Plant in east Tennessee, which will add more than 1,100 megawatts of power to TVA's generating portfolio. The TVA board of directors also has approved the completion of Bellefonte Nuclear Plant Unit 1 in northern Alabama. When it begins commercial operation, the 1,260 megawatt reactor will be the largest in TVA's nuclear fleet.
Increasing energy efficiency
As it invests in new capacity, TVA is improving the energy efficiency of its facilities and helping customers get more value from their electricity dollar. TVA also is creating incentives to reduce peak power usage with electricity prices that vary depending on the season and time of day to reflect changing production costs. This will help consumers manage their energy use to take advantage of times when costs are lower.
A new path forward
The three priorities of TVA’s renewed vision define a new path forward for TVA’s energy future in which every TVA job and initiative will be linked to six focus areas:
- Cleaner air
- Greater energy efficiency
- More nuclear generation
- Low rates
- High reliability
TVA’s renewed vision is a vital part of TVA’s overall strategic planning process, which includes strategic objectives, scorecards and initiatives – all designed to give TVA employees the clear line-of-sight they need to improve TVA’s core business. Another important element of this process is the integrated resource plan that TVA completed in 2011.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is the nation's largest public power provider and a corporation of the U.S. government. TVA was established by Congress in 1933 to address a wide range of environmental, economic, and technological issues, including the delivery of low-cost electricity and the management of natural resources. TVA’s power service territory includes most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia, covering 80,000 square miles and serving more than 9 million people. TVA sells electricity to 155 power distributor customers and 57 directly served industries and federal facilities.
Initially, federal appropriations funded all TVA operations. Appropriations for the TVA power program ended in 1959, and appropriations for TVA’s environmental stewardship and economic development activities were phased out by 1999. TVA is now fully self-financing, funding operations primarily through electricity sales and power system financings.
A short history of TVA
President Franklin Roosevelt needed innovative solutions if the New Deal was to lift the nation out of the depths of the Great Depression, and TVA was one of his most innovative ideas. Roosevelt envisioned TVA as a totally different kind of agency. He asked Congress to create “a corporation clothed with the power of government but possessed of the flexibility and initiative of a private enterprise.” On May 18, 1933, Congress passed the TVA Act.
From the start, TVA established a unique problem-solving approach to fulfilling its mission: integrated resource management. Each issue TVA faced — whether it was power production, navigation, flood control, malaria prevention, reforestation, or erosion control — was studied in its broadest context.
From this beginning, TVA has held fast to its strategy of integrated solutions, even as the issues changed over the years.