KNOXVILLE, Tenn., April 22, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To celebrate Earth Day, the Tennessee Valley Authority on Friday, April 22, is unveiling a solar- and wind-powered recreation area at Melton Hill Reservoir, installing six interactive energy-themed information stations, planting trees and participating in other events around the TVA region.
The newly enhanced Melton Hill Dam Sustainable Recreation Area near Lenoir City, Tenn., features electric vehicle chargers as well as solar panels and a wind turbine to generate clean, renewable power. TVA will see which technologies provide the most cost effective, environmentally friendly benefits.
"Showcasing a sustainable recreation environment is one example of TVA's use of new technology in carrying out its vision to be a low-cost provider of energy," said Anda Ray, senior vice president of Environment & Technology. "Finding ways to use our resources more wisely can apply equally to a park setting, a home or a business."
The Melton Hill site is equipped with systems that help reduce water and electric usage, which have the potential to lower operating costs, and encourage sustainable practices, such as recycling, renewable energy use and stormwater runoff management.
To create a sustainable project, TVA blended new technologies into existing infrastructure and a natural setting at the Melton Hill recreation area and campground. These enhancements include:
Photovoltaic solar power arrays
A wind turbine
Energy efficient, solar-powered LED street and path lighting
Solar water heating in the campground bath house
Water conservation features in restrooms
Energy efficiency lighting control sensors
Building materials made from coal combustion products
Stormwater management techniques to filter runoff
Electric vehicle chargers
"As people enjoy the recreational opportunities at Melton Hill, visitors will be helping TVA test the performance of new technologies. They will also be consuming less energy and using less water than people who stayed at the campground just one season ago," Ray said.
In other Earth Day events, TVA's Green Power Switch program is installing new Energy Information Stations at six locations around the TVA service area. The interactive stations are designed to increase public awareness of renewable energy and educate users on the various ways TVA generates and transmits electricity. The sites will use multimedia exhibits containing audio messages, three-dimensional graphics and simple explanations to illustrate TVA energy options. The stations are designed specifically for elementary school children and youth groups. The Energy Stations are located at:
Adventure Science Center – Nashville, Tenn.
American Museum of Science & Energy – Oak Ridge, Tenn.
BRIDGES Center – Memphis, Tenn.
Ijams Nature Center – Knoxville, Tenn.
Mississippi State University (Landscape Architecture Facility) – Starkville, Miss.
Sci-Quest – Huntsville, Ala.
TVA employees also are planting trees at TVA's Muscle Shoals Dam Reservation in Alabama and cleaning up trails at the Hiwassee River Walk in Murphy, N.C. Employees from the Bull Run Fossil Plant near Clinton, Tenn., are helping plant trees and shrubbery with students from Claxton Elementary School at the school's new outdoor learning center, and Gallatin Plant employees are helping to construct a seating and natural area at a greenway in Gallatin, Tenn.
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.