TVA urged to protect Tennessee River waterfront property as Board considers possible sale of Bellefonte site in Alabama

Guest Blog | May 2, 2016 | Press Releases

Advocates urge that the 1600 acre site support clean economic development opportunities

Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, [email protected], 865-235-1448


Knoxville, Tenn. (May 2, 2016) – Earlier today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced that a final decision with regards to the possible sale of the beleaguered Bellefonte nuclear plant site located near Hollywood, Alabama may be made at the board meeting on Thursday, May 5 in Buchanan, Tennessee. Back in February, the Authority wisely announced it was abandoning all plans to pursue building any nuclear reactors at the Bellefonte site and would consider selling the property.

With the support of the Alabama Rivers Alliance, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s executive director, Dr. Stephen A. Smith, issued this statement in response to today’s announcement:

“As a committed stakeholders in the Tennessee Valley, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and the Alabama Rivers Alliance (ARA) urge the Tennessee Valley Authority Board to seize the opportunity arising from the possible sale of the Bellefonte site to provide northeastern Alabama with exciting economic development choices for the future, choices that reflect the creative innovation of the 21st Century. However, we urge caution in a potential sale and offer the following recommendations.

We recommend that TVA retain possession of the waterfront acreage along the Bellefonte site as part of the Guntersville Reservoir. We strongly believe that TVA’s primary mission is to protect the Tennessee River system from degradation. Retaining the waterfront acreage provides TVA the opportunity to manage critical riparian and wetland acreage on the Tennessee River and the Guntersville Reservoir in a way that benefits current and future generations.

We also recommend that TVA maintain ownership of the existing switchyard and transmission interconnections to be able to pursue clean renewable energy applications and energy storage opportunities. TVA ratepayers have already invested in those assets, which can provide future economic development opportunities for Northeastern Alabama, and these activities would not be detrimental to the Tennessee River ecosystem.

SACE and ARA are agnostic as to whether the rest of the Bellefonte site should be sold or retained by TVA, but we urge the Board to carefully control what type of development does occur on the site to ensure it is compatible with TVA’s environmental stewardship principles.”

You can view SACE’s comments to the board in advance of Thursday’s meeting here and previously filed comments from March 18, 2016 on the possible sale of the Bellefonte site here.




About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at

About the Alabama Rivers Alliance
Alabama Rivers Alliance is a statewide network of groups working to protect and restore all of Alabama’s water resources through building partnerships, empowering citizens, and advocating for sound water policy and its enforcement. Learn more at