The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Wednesday that it would add more renewable energy to its generating system with a contract for up to 44 megawatts from a wind farm in Iowa.
In the past, the TVA has been criticized for its continued support of coal-fired power generation, and was thrust into the national spotlight when one of its retention ponds burst in 2008, sending 5.4 million cubic yards of toxic coal sludge into the Emory River.
The 20-year agreement with Horizon Wind Energy will supply TVA with electricity generated by 50 Vestas 1.65-megawatt turbines at Horizon’s Pioneer Prairie wind farm in Howard and Mitchell counties. TVA expects to begin receiving electricity from the wind farm by January 2012.
This is the second TVA-Horizon wind purchase agreement this year. TVA signed a purchase agreement in February for up to 115 megawatts of wind power from Horizon.
The Tennessee Valley Authority was created by Congress in 1933 to develop the Tennessee River system in the interest of navigation, flood control, and national defense, and to generate and sell surplus electricity in a region that had been hit hard by the Great Depression (NewDeal.Feri.Org).
The TVA provides low-cost energy for 9 million people in a service area that covers most of Tennessee, and extends into Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and smaller sections of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, Indiana and Virginia.
Image Credit: Flickr - tennesseevalleyauthority