TVA and Mountaintop Removal Coal

Tennessee Valley Authority owns 90 percent of the electric generating capacity in Tennessee, including several hydro, nuclear and wind facilities. TVA also owns and operates 11 coal-fired power plants in Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky.

Around 1 percent of the coal purchased by TVA comes from Central Appalachia, although only 3.6 percent of the coal the utility buys is surface mined or mountaintop removal coal.

TVA uses essentially zero coal from the state of Tennessee, largely because coal from Tennessee is by far the most expensive coal that TVA buys. In fact, TVA is buying less and less Central Appalachian coal due to the sharp increase in the cost. All told, the vast majority of TVA’s coal already comes from the western United States and the Illinois Basin.

Appalachian Voices is working with TVA and our allies to show the negative impacts that mountaintop removal is having on the economy, ecology and communities of our region. But most of all, we want to show TVA that mountaintop removal coal is an increasingly risky investment. The share of TVA’s electric generation that comes from mountaintop removal could easily be replaced with job-creating measures such as energy efficiency and renewable energy.