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Large drop in power demand has TVA rethinking future power plans

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Photo source: Chattanooga Times Free Press. Photo source: Chattanooga Times Free Press.
CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) -

Faced with the biggest drop in power demand in is 80-year history, the Tennessee Valley Authority is rethinking its future power plans.

Only two years after completing its previous 20-year plan, TVA is beginning a reassessment of its long-range plans this week with the first public hearings on how much and from what source TVA should generate and distribute its electricity. Although the new integrated resource plan is only advisory, it should help the TVA board decide how many of its aging coal plants will be shut down, how much energy conservation will be pushed and what, if any, new nuclear power plants, wind mills or solar farms will be built.

"We've seen a significant reduction in our load growth," Joe Hoagland, TVA's senior vice president of policy and oversight, said Monday. "Five or six years ago, we were forecasting load annual load growth of 3 or 4 percent a year, but power demand ended up falling during the recession and not bouncing back as it has coming out of previous recessions. Our long-range forecasts are now under 1 percent a year load growth."

TVA previously expected to need an extra coal or natural gas unit to be added every year or a nuclear reactor every two or three years.

Read more from our news partner the Times Free Press.

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