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TVA Plans Significant Cut in Carbon Emissions

TVA logoThe Tennessee Valley Authority says by 2020 it will cut carbon emissions amounting to half of what they were at their peak in 1995, in response to proposed new guidelines released by the EPA.

The Clean Power Plan, released by the EPA on June 2, would carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

The TVA — the no. 5 top carbon emitter, according to a May report on US power plant carbon pollution —  says its carbon footprint is already 30 percent below 2005 levels and it plans for them to be 40 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. By that time carbon emissions will be about half of what they were at their peak in 1995.

The power producer achieved its reductions by changing its generation mix and by focusing on energy efficiency and demand-side management. In addition it has added natural gas-fired generation and is planning on bringing an additional carbon-free nuclear unit on line in 2015. The new unit will be located at TVA’s Watts Bar site in Spring City, Tenn.

In addition, the TVA has retired 14 coal-fired units and is currently investing in emissions controls at its existing operations.

The Clean Power Plan is flexible in nature and gives individual states a good deal of control in determining how they meet the proposed goals. In the proposed plan, the EPA highlights Tennessee’s current initiatives, including demand-side efficiency programs, energy efficiency codes for residential buildings, and energy efficient codes for commercial buildings.

The EPA is encouraging states to take a broad view of their electricity systems to identify possible areas for reduction, including such strategies as demand-side energy efficiency programs, renewable energy standards, efficiency improvements at plants, dispatch changes, co-firing or switching to natural gas, construction of new natural gas combined-cycle plants, transmission efficiency improvements, energy storage technology, retirements, expanding renewables like wind and solar, expanding nuclear, market-based trading programs, and energy conservation programs.

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