Record year for hydro-power
The Tennessee Valley Authority says fiscal 2013 was a record year for hydroelectric power generation.
During the year ended Monday, TVA's 29 hydroelectric dams provided 18.5 million megawatt-hours of energy. That's enough electricity to serve more than 1.2 million homes in TVA's seven-state region.
TVA attributes the record to above-average precipitation. Rainfall was 121 percent of normal in the Tennessee Valley, with nearly 62 inches. Runoff, which is the amount of rainfall that actually reaches streams and creeks, was 136 percent of normal - almost 30 inches.
TVA Chief Generation Officer Chip Pardee said maximizing the potential of all that water required around-the-clock management. Hydroelectric power is TVA's cheapest energy source and its abundance has helped fuel lower costs to customers.
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