Long TVA Contracts Could Stifle Southern Cities’ Renewable Energy Push

“The utility has only modest plans for emissions cuts over the next 20 years. Its shift to longer contracts would prevent customers in 7 southern states from leaving. “

“As cities in the South start exploring ways to expand renewable energy, some are running into an obstacle that could set those plans back decades: The nation's largest public utility, concerned about its income base, has started pressuring its customers to lock in long-term contracts that critics say could leave the region relying on fossil fuels for years to come.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a public utility owned by the federal government, serves a population of 10 million in seven southeastern states through a distribution network of local power companies. While it has a lower carbon footprint than many utilities right now, its plans envision only modest improvements over the next 20 years.

Since August, TVA has persuaded more than 80 percent of the power companies that distribute the electricity it generates to agree to 20-year contracts—a much longer timeframe than its past agreements.”

James Bruggers reports for InsideClimate News December 16, 2019.