New South Cities Demand Action On New Energy
Cities Pressure TVA to Boost Renewable Energy as Memphis Weighs Breaking Away; Solar and wind supporters see Memphis as a beachhead in their fight to get the federally owned TVA to close coal plants. The city sees a way to save money.
James Bruggers, April 30, 2019 (Inside Climate News)
"For eight decades, Memphis has bought its electricity from the Tennessee Valley Authority, the nation's largest public utility and a key part of Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal to lift a region out poverty…[But the] city's municipal utility, TVA's largest customer, has launched a study to explore whether it can save money by breaking away from TVA, possibly by developing or buying renewable energy sources like solar and wind…Memphis' move, encouraged by environmentalists who have laid out a roadmap for transformation, comes as other large cities in Tennessee—including Nashville and Knoxville—are encouraging TVA to transition faster to renewable energy…
…TVA arose from the Great Depression, building hydroelectric dams…After World War II, it turned to coal and later nuclear power and now serves 10 million people in seven states…[In recent years, it] has retired coal plants and added solar farms…[With its nuclear plants, it has reached about] 56 percent carbon-free energy—while also meeting an obligation to provide ‘least cost’ power…[A] just-released 20-year integrated resource plan envisions more solar and maybe small-scale nuclear reactors to help the utility get to between 61 and 63 percent carbon-free electricity by 2038…[But environmental advocates and cities like Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville say that the timeline is too slow given the falling costs of New Energy and the] urgency of climate change. They want to see more solar and wind displacing fossil fuel plants sooner…” click here for more