The TVA chose one from column A and two from column B in mapping out its energy strategy for the next twenty years. More nuclear, less coal, more energy efficiency and demand response programs and more renewable energy was the formula put forth in first draft of TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan, which was posted on its website this week.
The plan actually included five alternatives. A plan where nuclear expansion was rejected was ranked second. Another plan calling for almost complete reliance on nuclear was rejected. The plant will be open to comment at a series of open public meetings over the next few months before being finalized next March.
Press reports immediately began putting their own spin on the announcement. One story bore the headline, “TVA is considering strategies that include delaying new nuclear units until 2022.” This referred to the second-ranked option – which still included completion of the 1,180-MW Watts Barr II, now under construction. The report did not give much attention to the first-ranked option.
The Tennessean, published in Nashville, listed perfunctory details and then immediately switched to the reaction of Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Smith … said he strongly supports the idea of phasing out old coal plants, but that energy efficiency and renewable energy sources should be given more emphasis. The group also said in an emailed statement today that it was concerned about `TVA’s enthusiasm for high-risk nuclear power development.’"
The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is certain to represented at the opening hearing on Oct. 5.