- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking a closer look at energy efficiency as it works on a long-range energy resources plan.

The Knoxville News Sentinel (https://bit.ly/1AijvZ6) reports the federal utility is using advanced computer modeling to determine how valuable energy efficiency will be in meeting its long-term power needs.

The agency’s Integrated Resource Plan is being revised to determine how much electricity will be needed over a 20-year period and what resources are needed to provide it.

The updated plan will address changes in the economy and the electric utility industry since the existing energy plan was completed in 2011. TVA officials held a public meeting in Knoxville on Monday about the effort.

TVA is the nation’s largest public utility, serving 9 million people in parts of Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

TVA project manager Gary Brinkworth says a draft of the plan was originally schedule to be out in the spring, but will likely be put off until the summer due to enhancements added to the modeling.

“It’s taken us a little longer to get those techniques sharpened up, but we have confidence in the outcomes of our modeling,” Brinkworth said.

Stephen Smith, who is executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and criticized TVA for not emphasizing energy efficiency in the last plan, said the current modeling is a big improvement.

“This IRP is letting the model choose the right amount of energy efficiency,” he said.

Joe Hoagland, TVA vice president of stakeholder relations, says the modeling will treat energy efficiency as a power resource available in 10-megawatt blocks.

“We will be able to look at energy efficiency as if it were one of our power plants,” he said.


Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel, https://www.knoxnews.com

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