KNOXVILLE, Tenn., April 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Valley Authority is on track to reduce the energy use of its office buildings, shops and warehouses by 30 percent by 2015 and to increase the amount of renewable energy that supports them.
Those are some of the factors receiving top "green" scores in TVA's fiscal year 2010 Federal Office of Management and Budget scorecard on sustainability and energy performance. The scorecard, which TVA is releasing for the first time, describes how an agency's buildings and related operations meet guidelines for reducing their environmental impact.
The buildings reviewed are not part of TVA's electricity generation fleet, but instead structures such as office buildings, shops and warehouses. Using this scorecard as a benchmark, TVA will identify and track the best opportunities to reduce pollution, improve efficiency, and cut costs.
Under an executive order issued by President Obama, federal agencies are directed to lead by example in clean energy and to meet a range of energy, water, pollution, and waste reduction targets. Based on scorecard benchmarks,TVA will update its Sustainability Plan by June and add that to what is posted on the company's website.
"This scorecard serves as an important tool to help us develop targets to reduce waste and increase efficiency in our operations," said Anda Ray, senior vice president of Environment and Technology and TVA's Senior Sustainability Officer."We are now armed with data to know how our buildings stack up in energy performance so that we can address areas needing improvement and to expand on our successes."
TVA is working to meet goals to decrease energy use per square foot in company buildings; decrease potable water use per square foot; decrease vehicle fleet petroleum use; establish inventories of direct and indirect green house gas emissions; incorporate sustainable building practices and increase renewable energy use.
TVA has consistently met building energy reduction goals and currently is using almost half the energy of the federal average for these-type buildings.
TVA has also met renewable energy use goals that apply to all of its buildings including those that are part of the generating fleet. TVA has submitted its green house gas inventory and set targets to cut green house gas attributed to combustion of fossil fuel energy and use of electricity in its buildings, as well as green house gas attributed to business and employee commuter travel and waste disposal.
Areas showing a need for improvement include reducing water use in its buildings (currently yellow on the scorecard) and retrofitting 15 percent of its existing buildings with technologies to make them more sustainable and environmentally friendly (currently red on the scorecard).
To address areas that need improvement, TVA will implement more water-saving projects in its buildings and move all agency energy and water data to a new data management system to provide more accurate accounting for water reduction accomplishments. To address sustainable building requirements, TVA is currently doing detailed evaluations of its buildings to determine the most cost effective ways to make them more environmentally friendly.
TVA's vehicle fleet has been historically excluded from past requirements due to the nature of its make-up and use (no central fueling or central stationing of vehicles in large metropolitan areas) and its connection to the operation and maintenance of the TVA power system, which in many ways could be considered part of national security. TVA is currently working with the Department of Energy to determine the scope of these requirements without impacting TVA's mission to provide power to 9 million people, including other federal agencies, hospitals, law enforcement, etc.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities that can produce about 34,000 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA's service territory are below the national average.