Video Release On TVA’s Choices on Coal Retirements

Guest Blog | March 24, 2011 | Press Releases

Knoxville, Tenn. –The Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE), with support from the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), has created an 11-minute video titled TVA At The Crossroads. Earlier this month the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released a final proposal for its 20-year plan known as the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). Among many recommendations the IRP proposes that TVA reduce its coal-powered electricity generation by upwards of 4,700 MW. In response to the IRP, this new video urges the TVA to commit to higher levels of coal plant retirements, starting with its oldest, dirtiest and least efficient plants, Johnsonville and Widows Creek.

TVA At The Crossroads explains that the average age of TVA’s coal fleet is nearly 50-years-old. Older plants release more pollutants and become more expensive to operate. In 2009, Johnsonville emitted 32,006 tons of acid rain causing sulfur dioxide and 8,421 tons of ozone forming nitrogen oxides making it one of TVA’s most polluting plants even while it produces less electricity than other, cleaner, plants.

The TVA has been an energy leader in the past, utilizing coal power to create economic growth in the region, however, given the mounting economic and health costs, coal is no longer the most viable energy source. TVA At The Crossroads asks whether TVA will cling to old coal power because of its historic significance or whether it will retire its oldest, dirtiest and least-efficient plants and lead America into a clean energy future.

TVA’s IRP analysis shows that coal retirements can lead to lower-cost energy in the Tennessee Valley. If TVA moves forward with retirements, it will protect public health and the environment, and also save itself and ratepayers money by reducing the economic cost of generating power.

The new film was produced and directed by environmental filmmakers Carly Calhoun and Sam Despeaux. They also produced the film American Nightmare and are in the midst of a broader project exploring the dangers of coal ash, a waste byproduct of coal combustion.

You can view TVA At The Crossroads at – or at the homepage. # # # Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that create global warming solutions and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the