July 20, 2009
The Tennessee Valley Authority plans a public meeting in Starkville to help establish its goals for the next 20 years -- goals that are likely to include more nuclear power generation and more energy conservation by consumers.
Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the TVA congressional caucus, offered a vision of the future for the TVA on Friday that includes nuclear replacing coal as TVA''s major source of electric generation over the next 20 years, calling atomic power TVA''s best option for "pollution-free, carbon-free," reliable generation.
The Senate''s third-ranking Republican, in a speech to a Tennessee municipal distributors group in Memphis, also said TVA, the nation''s largest public utility, should do more to encourage energy conservation. Tennessee has the highest per capita use of electricity in the country.
Alexander offered his suggestions as the federal power agency begins a series of public hearings next week to develop a new Integrated Resource Plan to chart the agency''s goals for the next two decades. The last plan was done in 1995. A draft for the new one is due next spring and a final version by early 2011.
TVA provides electricity to about 9 million consumers through 158 distributors in Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
Public meetings are scheduled for today in Nashville, Tuesday in Chattanooga and Thursday in Knoxville. Later sessions will be in Huntsville, Ala., on July 28; Hopkinsville, Ky., on July 20; Starkville on Aug. 4, and Memphis on Aug. 6.
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