A spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in the USA has said that the authority’s generation of hydropower is nearly double the level of this time last year. He said that this was a result of increased rainfall, which has led to more dam discharge.
TVA hydro generation has so far generation a cumulative total of 920 GWh in February, accounting for about 11 per cent of TVA’s generation for month, compared with about 6 per cent last year.
Travis Brickley, spokesman for TVA, said that so far, this February had seen rainfall rates of 200 per cent of the normal level. In addition, mild weather has caused demand to fall. This combination means that the hydropower system is currently producing around 20 per cent of total demand. He said: “Any time we are in a wet weather pattern, that means we have more of our cheapest fuel source – hydro. We’ve been able to utilise that water to produce low-cost energy.”
According to TVA, average February rainfall is 4.53 inches. So far this month, 8.27 inches has fallen. This has led to TVA to discharge more water from its dams to prevent flooding, and in turn generated more power from hydro generation out of TVA’s 30 power-generating dams that total 5375 MW.