Integrated Resource Plan
Development of the 2015 IRP
TVA’s 2015 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and the associated Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) are studies that take a long-term look at ways that TVA can meet future demand for electricity in new and innovative ways. Throughout the process to develop the draft and final 2015 IRP, TVA engaged many stakeholders and received input through a several venues including the IRP Working Group, Regional Energy Resource Council, public meetings and written comments. The meeting materials and draft IRP documents from the 2015 IRP development process are provided here.
Electrical utilities periodically develop integrated resource plans to determine the most cost-effective way to meet the future needs of their customers. The plans typically compile a list of various energy resource options for meeting these needs, including both new generating facilities and energy efficiency and demand response programs to reduce the demand for electricity. These options are assembled into resource portfolios, which are then evaluated for several criteria, including capital and fuel costs, reliability, compliance with existing and anticipated future regulations and other factors. The portfolio most likely to meet corporate goals is then selected and implemented.
April 6 Public Meeting
Because we want to represent multiple points of view, we worked in close collaboration with our IRP Working Group and Regional Energy Resource Council in creating this report. These groups are made up of individuals representing diverse stakeholder viewpoints including customers, academics, advocacy groups, business organizations and government officials.
With them, we paved new ground by developing a unique way to measure and model the costs and performance of energy efficiency and renewable resources as if they were traditional power plants. This method helped us attain sustained high reliability, achieve our least-cost energy mandate under the TVA Act and also continue our commitment to environmental stewardship.
Initial observations from the draft reports are:
- Additional capacity is needed to serve our customers in all scenarios.
- Energy Efficiency plays an increased role.
- Renewable resources (particularly solar) could make a major contribution to our future portfolio.
- There is no immediate need for substantial new baseload power beyond completion of Watts Bar Unit 2 and potential small power increases at Browns Ferry Nuclear plant.
- Expansion of natural gas generation is likely in all scenarios.
- The supplemental Environmental Impact Statement thoroughly assessed the environmental impacts of the strategies studied.
During the course of modeling and evaluating the planning strategies, we identified findings that warrant further evaluation during the next phase of the IRP study. That work will continue during the Public Comment phase (Mar. 13-Apr. 27) and results will be captured in the final reports, which will be issued this summer.
While undertaking the IRP, we came across a number of policy-related issues that were outside the study’s scope but will need to be considered as we move toward implementing any recommendations.
For example, we recognized that a commitment to significant levels of Energy Efficiency as part of the resource portfolio will likely put upward pressure on rates and that could have negative consequences for low and fixed income customers, as well as renters. The details of the approach we might take to remedy the situation are outside the scope of the IRP report, but the study work we have completed will inform the follow-on planning and evaluation of the Energy Efficiency portfolio.
We also know that electric rates and job growth are critical concerns for Valley residents. TVA remains committed to both our least-cost mandate and our responsibility for regional economic development. Although the IRP itself does not analyze either of these issues, the findings in this planning study do become key inputs in the financial planning cycle that helps TVA set rates and fund economic development activities. In the final IRP report, we plan to provide further discussion of these concerns.
These are just two examples; there are several other policy issues that come into play when implementing recommendations from the IRP, especially if the target power supply mix relies on more load-side options, like energy efficiency programs, or resources that are more dispersed, like wind or solar facilities. Because of our unique business model, TVA and local power company partners may have to collaborate in innovative ways to ensure that this evolving resource portfolio remains reliable and provides maximum value to all residents of the Tennessee Valley.
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2015 Integrated Resource Plan Draft Report (PDF 4 mb)
Notice of Intent (PDF, 200 kb)