TVA releases draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and invites public feedback

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released its 2019 draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) on Feb. 15, 2019. TVA is currently inviting public stakeholders for feedback on the draft through April 8, 2019. TAEBC will submit public comments for the final IRP.

The IRP provides a long-term vision for how TVA can best meet the Valley’s need for power during the next two decades. According to the draft, the IRP will impact how TVA supports environmental stewardship, encourages economic development, and offers low-cost electricity in the area.

As the utility industry is evolving rapidly, this IRP will improve TVA’s ability to create flexible power-generation systems that will ensure reliable power at an affordable cost. The IRP will also inform TVA’s Long-Range Financial Plan.

TVA is updating its 2015 IRP due to vast changes within the utility industry, including increased access to natural gas, heightened attention on energy conservation efforts, and lower costs of renewable generation. As the nation’s largest public power provider, it is imperative for TVA continually seek out new solutions the region’s energy needs.

This IRP has been under development since Feb. 2018, when scoping efforts first identified issues relevant to the public and provided the foundation for the current draft. During the spring and summer of 2018, TVA began the development of model input and framework process, which involved finding and creating scenarios, resource options, and business strategies.

In the fall of 2018, TVA analyzed and evaluated the performance of their 30 resource portfolios that were identified during the previous modeling process. Throughout this projected 18-month journey, TVA has actively engaged external stakeholders, like TAEBC, to share their assumptions, opinions, and expertise to create an IRP that will benefit all Tennesseans.

In April 2018, TAEBC submitted comments to TVA as part of the initial IRP drafting process. With these comments, TAEBC reaffirmed our commitment to support TVA as it takes steps to address the ever-changing utility marketplace. The purpose of these comments is to illustrate how TVA can best meet future electricity demands with access to economic development data. The guidance we provided included:

  • Ensure there is a collaborative, public, open stakeholder process for developing the IRP.
  • Resource planning should include both TVA-built resources and procured third-party resources; as well as take into consideration customer-sited and demand-side management resources.
  • Correctly valuing distributed energy resources (DERs) is critical to integrating the benefits they offer to both demand and supply side operators. Valuing a stack or system of DERs is a challenge that must be addressed as the net benefits may increase when certain technologies are used together.
  • Consider how the IRP might encourage or discourage economic development, capital investment and jobs in our region from the advanced energy sector.

TVA will hold public meetings throughout the state over the next month to present the plan, answer questions, and accept written comments for the IRP. According to the IRP timeline, TVA will complete public meetings by April 2019, release the final IRP to the public in summer 2019, request approval from the Board in August 2019, and publish a Record of Decision soon after.

To learn more, sign up for TVA’s public webinar on Tuesday, Feb. 26 from 11:00 to 11:45 a.m. Follow this link to register. The recorded version will be available on TVA’s website.

TVA’s 2019 IRP Scoping Report Published with Public Comments

TVA published the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Scoping Report on Aug. 1, 2018. The report includes public comments related to TVA’s work on the IRP and the related Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

The IRP is a long-term plan that provides direction on how TVA can best meet future electricity demand over the next 20 years – while the EIS assesses the natural, cultural and socioeconomic impacts associated with IRP implementation.

During a 60-day scoping period that ran from Feb. 14 to Apr. 16, 2018, members of the public provided input online, by mail and at public scoping meetings around issues that are important to them. The scoping report captures these comments, which will help lay the foundation for development of the IRP and EIS.

The scoping report also includes:

  • Information on the resource planning and environmental review process
  • Information on final strategies and scenarios under consideration in the IRP
  • A summary of IRP and EIS topics
  • A look at how the IRP and EIS are being developed
  • Public outreach efforts and materials

For more information on the 2019 IRP, visit tva.com/irp

TVA webinar reveals 2019 IRP schedule, next steps

The Tennessee Valley Authority hosted a webinar in May to provide transparency to stakeholders and the public at-large on the status of the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan.

The 2019 IRP is expected to provide TVA direction on how to best meet future electricity demand. Building upon the work done in prior plans, TVA has started the 2019 IRP to proactively address the changing utility marketplace.

TVA says this latest IRP will explore various scenarios related to the expansion of distributed energy resources in the Tennessee Valley. TVA also is seeking to improve its understanding of the impact and benefit of system flexibility with increasing renewable and distributed resources.

During the webinar, TVA leaders discussed some of the major themes received during the public comment and scoping period which began February 15 and wrapped up on April 16.

TVA received hundreds of comments during that time frame with topics ranging from:

  • Encouragement of clean energy initiatives, renewable energy, and research and development on DERs
  • Call for special attention to environmental justice/affected environment analyses on impacts to limited income households
  • General interest in energy efficiency measures and energy storage alternatives
  • General input on modeling, metrics/calculations and evaluation criteria
  • General comments on fuel diversification options

TVA will now be compiling a report summarizing the scoping input which will describe how TVA is responding to the input during the development of the IRP and the EIS. This scoping report will also detail scenarios, strategies, and energy resources being carried forward in the IRP and IRP EIS analysis. It’s important to note the scoping report is scheduled to be posted to the IRP website in early July 2018.

During the webinar, TVA also provided a schedule and timeline of future milestones regarding the 2019 IRP.

  • By Summer/Fall of 2018, a series of deep evaluations and analysis work will be completed, as well as some initial modeling will be drafted.
  • By Winter/Spring 2019, pending Valley-wide public meetings TVA will present its initial results and publish a draft EIS and IRP.
  • By Spring/Summer 2019, public meetings will have wrapped up and TVA says it will incorporate that input into the 2019 IRP.
  • By Summer 2019, a preferred plan and direction will be identified with TVA’s board approval and a final publication of the EIS and 2019 IRP will be available.

For a link to TVA’s 2019 IRP website, click here.

TVA hosting IRP 2019 Quarterly Webinar

TVA is hosting its first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Quarterly Public Update Meeting on May 15, 2018. The webinar will run from 11 to 11:45 a.m. EDT, and participants will need to register here.

The 2019 IRP is a comprehensive study that provides direction on how to best meet future electricity demand. Learn more about the IRP on TVA’s IRP website.

IRP quarterly webinars are designed to ensure continued transparency, information-sharing and public engagement around the development of the 2019 IRP. TVA held a scoping webinar at the kickoff of the 2019 IRP.

At the May 15 webinar, TVA will:

  • Introduce the 2019 IRP – What it is, why TVA is doing it and how it will help determine the Valley’s energy future,
  • Provide an update on where TVA is in the developing process,
  • Summarize public scoping comments,
  • Review next steps.

If interested, please be sure to register.

TAEBC submits comments to TVA over 2019 IRP

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council submitted the following comments to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regarding its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) scoping.

To whom it may concern:

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is pleased to submit the following comments to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regarding its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) scoping. 

TAEBC would like to reiterate our commitment to supporting TVA as it takes steps to proactively address the evolving utility marketplace. Our intent is to provide TVA with economic development data to inform the utility’s decision on how best to meet future electricity demands.

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. We exist to foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy technologies, companies and jobs. Advanced energy is technology neutral – anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. At its core, we look to energy innovation as an economic development opportunity.

We encourage TVA to examine the advanced energy industry and Tennessee’s leadership position within the industry as it considers its 2019 IRP. This is a growing and lucrative sector of our economy. States and regions that provide an attractive home for this industry – and its workforce – will be rewarded with jobs and capital investment.

For example, Tennessee’s advanced energy economy contributes $33 billion to our state’s GDP, employs nearly 325,000 people, includes more than 17,000 business entities and pays an average annual wage that exceeds the state average.[1]

Globally, advanced energy is a $1.4 trillion industry. That is almost twice the size of the global airline industry and nearly equal to worldwide apparel revenue.[2]

TAEBC encourages TVA to consider how its IRP might encourage or discourage economic development, capital investment and jobs in our region from the advanced energy sector. This includes companies that 1) are directly engaged in the advanced energy industry (i.e. manufacture advanced energy widgets), 2) deploy advanced energy technologies as part of a commitment to corporate sustainability and 3) provide professional services (i.e. installers, engineers, etc that locate operations and talent in the region to service regional customers).

TAEBC has seen Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies across the country and Tennessee commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency targets or establish sustainability goals.[3] To remain competitive at recruiting and retaining business and industry, the Valley must offer an attractive environment for these companies to meet their goals and deploy advanced energy technologies.

As an example, Amazon specifically mentions “sustainability” in its HQ2 FAQ page – noting the company’s commitment to deploy advanced energy technologies at its facilities. The state that is selected for Amazon’s HQ2 will be rewarded with a $5 billion construction project and as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.[4]

According to a report from Ceres that examines data provided by Fortune 500 companies, the largest companies in the United States are steadily increasing their clean energy and energy efficiency efforts while improving their bottom lines – a trend that is having an important role in the decarbonization of the U.S. electric power sector in recent years.[5] From the report: 

“Overall, nearly half of the companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), improve energy efficiency, and/or increase renewable energy sourcing—up five percentage points from our last report in 2014.

The strongest efforts are among Fortune 100 companies, with 63 percent adopting or retaining goals. In addition to the steady overall increase, the report also shows strong improvement among the smallest 100 companies in the Fortune 500, with 44 percent of these setting goals in one or more categories, up 19 percentage points from 2013.”

We encourage TVA to use the IRP to increase technological innovation and investment in the Valley so that we may seize this opportunity and emerge on the winning end of this trend, rather than fall behind.

With these objectives in mind, we offer the following guidance for the IRP process:

●      Ensure there is a collaborative, public, open stakeholder process for developing the IRP.
●      Resource planning should include both TVA-built resources and procured third-party resources; as well as take into consideration customer-sited and demand-side management resources. Correctly valuing distributed energy resources (DERs) is critical to integrating the benefits they offer to both demand and supply side operators. Valuing a stack or system of DERs is a challenge that must be addressed as the net benefits may increase when certain technologies are used together.

 

Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. TAEBC stands ready to assist TVA as it  becomes the energy company of the future.

Sincerely,

Cortney Piper

Vice President, TN Advanced Energy Business Council

606 W Main Street, Suite 250, Knoxville, TN 37902

P: 865-789-2669

Cc TAEBC Board of Directors

      Matt Kisber, President
      Steve Bares, Secretary

Tom Ballard, Immediate Past President
Jeff Kanel
Trish Starkey
Marc Gibson
Jim DeMouy
Mary Beth Hudson
Chris Bowles

[1] Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, TN Advanced Energy Business Council (2015). http://tnadvancedenergy.com/tennessee-advanced-energy-economic-impact-report/

[2] Advanced Energy Now, 2017 Market Report, Advanced Energy Economy (2018). http://info.aee.net/hubfs/PDF/AEN-2017-Market-Report.pdf

[3] More Companies Set 100% Renewable Energy Goals in 2017, Energy Manager Today (December 2017). https://www.energymanagertoday.com/100-renewable-energy-goals-2017-0173841/