- Facing an energy shortage that extends out to 2033, the Tennessee Valley Authority has indicated it will focus more heavily on gas-fired generation and efficiency, and less on nuclear power.
- TVA's recently-filed draft integrated resource plan, AL.com reports, does not include the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant, which was begun in the 1970s and then halted almost 30 years ago.
- TVA operates nuclear units with a total capacity of about 6,700 MW; coal facilities on the system are capable of generating 11,900 MW, but the utility expects that amount to decline as environmental regulations push dirtier sources offline.
The Bellefonte Nuclear project was begun the mid-70s and then mothballed in 1988, when power consumption began to decline, according to AL.com. But despite TVA facing an energy shortage through 2033, the utility has apparently left the facility out of its 20-year integrated resource planning. Presumably the project could be permanently taken off the books when TVA votes in August.
Instead, the utility will rely heavily on energy efficiency and natural gas to meet demand.
According to TVA's plan, annual peak load growth from 2014 to 2033 will range from 0.3% to a more aggressive 1.3% prediction. Net system energy requirements grow at an annual rate of 1% in the current outlook scenario but growth dips to zero in the lowest growth scenario and peaks at 1.1% in the highest.
The utility operates several nuclear reactions including three at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, two at Sequoyah Nuclear Plant and one at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. In 2007, TVA approved the completion of a second reactor at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant, which will have a 1,150 MW generating capacity.
On the coal side, TVA currently operates 10 power plants consisting of 41 active generating units with a
total capability of almost 11,900 MW. But according to the utility's integrated plan, by 2016 the coal fleet will decrease to about 32 active units with a total capability of 10,300 MW.
"A total of sixteen units are expected to be idled to comply with environmental requirements," TVA said.