TVA at a Glance
We are 10,000 men and women proud to be carrying on TVA’s long tradition of service. We are privileged to be able to make life better for the people of the Valley by providing safe, clean, reliable and low-cost energy; by being good stewards of the lands and waters entrusted to us; and by bringing jobs and investments to the region and doing all it takes to keep them here.
TVA was created by Congress in 1933 and charged with a unique mission—to make life better for the people of the Tennessee Valley through the integrated management of the region’s resources. For more than eight decades, we have worked tirelessly to carry out that mission, and we are working just as hard to make life better for the ten million people who live, work and play in the Valley today.
We serve the people of the Tennessee Valley by focusing on three key areas: energy, environment and economic development.
TVA is the nation’s largest, government-owned energy provider. TVA supplies safe, reliable, clean low-cost public power to 153 local power companies and about 60 large industrial customers and federal facilities. As energy needs change, TVA continues to diversify its portfolio, generating over half of all electricity from carbon-free resources. These include coal, gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants as well as renewable resources. In fiscal year 2019:
- TVA sold more than 158.4 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity for revenue of about $11.2 billion.
- TVA’s average retail rate ranked 32nd lowest and 12th lowest in industrial rates among the nation’s 100 largest utilities.
- TVA’s transmission system achieved 99.999 percent reliability for the 20th year in a row.
- Today, TVA’s generation portfolio is 39% nuclear, 19% coal, 26% natural gas, 11% hydro, 3% wind and solar, and 1% energy efficiency programs with a total capacity of 33,727 megawatts.
TVA's Generating Assets Today
- 6 fossil plants (26 active units)
- 3 nuclear plants (7 units)
- 29 hydro plants (113 units)
- 1 pumped storage hydroelectric plant (4 units)
- 9 natural gas combustion turbine gas plants (86 units)
- 8 natural gas combined cycle gas plants (14 units)
- 1 diesel generator site (5 units)
- 14 solar energy sites
Environmental stewardship is an important part of TVA’s mission of service. We are committed to protecting the Valley’s natural resources, as well as its historical and cultural heritage.
We manage the Tennessee River to provide multiple benefits to the people we serve and to ensure that our region will always be a safe, healthy and beautiful place to live and play. That means monitoring the health of the region’s reservoirs, rivers and streams; promoting clean marinas and clean boating; and taking good care of 293,000 acres of reservoir land; 11,000 miles of shoreline; and more than 80 public recreation areas. According to a 2017 University of Tennessee study, recreation on the Tennessee River and its reservoirs is worth about $12 billion to the regional economy and creates about 130,000 jobs each year.
To protect water quality and aquatic life, we’ve installed equipment to add oxygen to the water around TVA dams and committed to releasing a minimum flow to keep the downstream riverbed from drying out when power generation is shut off.
We also are committed to limiting the environmental impact of our operations. To protect air quality:
- We’ve invested more than $6.8 billion to reduce emissions from our coal-fired plants reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 99 percent since regulations began in 1977. Nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions have been reduced by 96 percent since 1995.
- We’re decommissioning some of our oldest, least-efficient coal-fired units and adding cleaner forms of power generation. These include the 21st century’s first new nuclear unit and more clean-burning natural gas units.
- We’re generating and purchasing more renewable energy. In 2019, renewables (including conventional hydro production) constituted 15 percent of our energy portfolio and contributed to a 51 percent reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions compared with 2005 levels.
Economic development is a cornerstone of TVA’s mission to make life better for Valley residents.
In fiscal year 2019, we worked in partnership with communities and the business sector to spur $8.9 billion in business investments in the Tennessee Valley region and helped attract and retain more than 65,000 jobs.
- More than 215 companies were recruited to the Valley or expanded their existing operations.
- TVA assisted communities directly with more than 1,200 outreach activities related to economic growth preparedness and development.
- Thirty-four communities are in the Valley Sustainable Communities Program, which helps them differentiate themselves by highlighting and increasing local sustainability efforts.
- TVA provided ongoing economic development assistance to communities and companies through financial support, technical services, leadership training, market research and other business offerings.
In recognition of these efforts, in 2019, Site Selection, a national industrial development magazine, recognized TVA for the 14th consecutive year as one of the top utilities in North America for economic development leadership and results.
Our Service Area
TVA’s power service territory covers 80,000 square miles, including most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Virginia. We provide electricity to nearly 10 million people at prices below the national average. TVA sells electricity to 154 local power companies and 56 directly served industries and federal facilities.
How We’re Funded
Initially, federal appropriations funded all TVA operations. Federal funding for the TVA power program ended in 1959, and appropriations for TVA’s environmental stewardship and economic development activities were phased out by 1999. In 2014, TVA made its final scheduled repayment on Congress’ original $1 billion investment in the TVA power system, but TVA continues to make annual payments on the government’s remaining equity investment in TVA.
TVA is now fully self-financing, funding virtually all operations through electricity sales and power system bond financing. TVA sets rates as low as feasible and reinvests net income from power sales into power system improvements and economic development initiatives. TVA makes no profit and receives no tax money.