GAO report concludes TVA is flat-footed on climate-change risks to infrastructure
This story was originally published by Tennessee Lookout.
WASHINGTON — Extreme weather patterns have sparked several improvements to the climate resiliency of Tennessee Valley Authority electrical infrastructure over the past two decades.
A report from a government watchdog, however, found the huge utility still has work to do in mitigating climate hazards to the regional power grid. (Bitter cold around Christmas led TVA to implement rolling blackouts).
“TVA has taken several steps to manage climate-related risks,” the Jan. 30 report from the Government Accountability Office said. “However, TVA has not conducted an inventory of assets and operations vulnerable to climate change, or developed a resilience plan that identifies and prioritizes resilience measures to address specific risks.”
One issue: The Southeast has experienced a period of accelerated warming since the 1960s. Among cities in the region, 61 percent are experiencing worsening heat waves, a percentage greater than anywhere else in the country, according to the GAO.
The report came in response to a five-part joint request for information on the climate resiliency of U.S. infrastructure, from U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chair Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Tom Carper of Delaware. The two Democrats sent their request to the GAO on May 13, 2019.