It was a cold winter in the United States. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) was in the midst of a power shortage and the federal utility was forced to rely on rolling blackouts. This heightened calls for the TVA to rethink its recent decision to double down on fossil fuels. After all, there are other more cost-effective ways of generating power than building more coal-burning power plants.
Last month, a lawsuit was filed against TVA, accusing the utility of violating a federal law that requires it to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But the company declined to comment. At the same time, the company is making preparations to fill six board seats nominated by President Joe Biden. A TVA spokesman said that the CEO should consider the latest developments before finalizing her recommendations for the Cumberland Fossil Plant in the next couple of weeks.
As the arctic blast brought freezing rain and blinding blizzards to the northeastern U.S., the Cumberland Fossil Plant went offline, and high winds caused critical instrumentation to freeze. While TVA hasn’t provided details about the power failures, the agency has recommended replacing aging coal-burning power plants with natural gas.