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Tennessee Valley Authority to expand use of wind generation

(Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Duncan Mansfield, AP, 01/14/03:

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee - The United States' largest public utility has signed an agreement to expand its wind power generating facility, the company said Tuesday.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has been operating three wind turbines on Buffalo Mountain, a reclaimed strip mine in eastern Tennessee, since 2001. The authority will add 18 turbines to give the site a capacity of more than 28 megawatts, up from 1.8 megawatts.

The added wind power is a significant shift for the utility, which was founded in the 1930s to generate power from hydroelectric dams.

"This is a significant commitment to wind in our region," said Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, a watchdog group.

Across the United States, wind power is the fastest growing electric power source outpacing gas turbines, coal plants or nuclear plants, he said. The U.S. Department oof Energy lists 4,558 megawatts of U.S. wind power.

The authority's Green Power Switch alternative energy program also uses electricity generated by solar collectors and reclaimed landfill gas.

TVA provides electricity to 8.3 million people in Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.

On the Net:
Tennessee Valley Authority, http://www.tva.gov More P