TVA seeks suppliers of carbon-free energy

13 July 2022

Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has issued a request for proposals for supplying up to 5000 MW of carbon-free energy that must be operational before 2029. Nuclear power, along with renewables, is listed among the sources acceptable to TVA.

TVA's Sequoyah nuclear power plant (Image: TVA)

Proposals in response to the request must be submitted by 19 October. TVA said it will announce selected projects in early 2023. It noted any transaction resulting from the request will be in the form of a power purchase agreement.

TVA's long-term goal is to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and 80% by 2035, without raising costs or impacting reliability, and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

"We are taking this bold, decisive action because TVA is uniquely positioned to lead in reducing carbon emissions for the region and the nation," said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. "This announcement is a clear signal to our industry, our partners, and our nation that we need to move further and faster, together, to make a cleaner future a reality."

He added: "There is no single answer to achieving our nation's decarbonisation and energy security goals. TVA is accelerating change across the industry to expand carbon-free technologies to decarbonise the grid while integrating emerging technologies through innovative solutions to meet customer-driven demand and build a future that leaves no one behind in the new clean energy economy."

In February, TVA announced a new nuclear programme to explore advanced nuclear technology as part of its decarbonisation goals. One of its first tasks will be to pursue a construction licence application for a light-water, small modular reactor (SMR) at the Clinch River site, and the authority is in discussions with GE Hitachi to support their BWRX-300 light-water SMR design.

"The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking meaningful actions to deploy carbon-free energy and advance our shared goal to decarbonize the nation’s electricity grid," said Maria Korsnick, President and CEO of the Nuclear Energy Institute. "We applaud TVA for recognising the significant role nuclear energy will have alongside wind, solar and other low-carbon technologies to meet customer demand and grow economic development across the region. Nuclear carbon-free energy is essential for TVA to reach its decarbonisation goals, while also putting the United States on a pathway toward a just and affordable clean energy transition."

TVA is a corporate agency of the USA, providing electricity for 153 local power companies in Tennessee and parts of six surrounding states as well as providing flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system. The authority's existing nuclear fleet - three boiling water reactor units at Browns Ferry in Alabama, and two-unit pressurised water plants at Sequoyah and Watts Bar, both in Tennessee - is the third largest nuclear fleet in the USA and produces more than 40% of TVA's generation.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News