Vanderbilt’s Energy Portfolio

Vanderbilt University’s energy portfolio is split between two main providers: Vanderbilt’s own power plant and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The TVA is the largest public power provider in the nation, servicing around 10 million people in multiple states. They provide approximately 72% of Vanderbilt’s energy needs and the power plant provides the remaining 28%.

On November 19, 2014, Vanderbilt officially completed the conversion from coal to natural gas at its power plant. The Renewable Sources (2.2%), shown in the graphic above, consist of wind and solar power, as defined by the TVA. Taking into account nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar, Vanderbilt sources 38.5% of its energy portfolio using clean power.

The TVA’s sourcing is split between nuclear (40%), coal (26%), natural gas (20%), hydroelectric (10%), wind and solar (3%), and energy efficiency (1%)*. Considering the charts above and impressions from a recent Integrated Resource Plan meeting the TVA held at Vanderbilt on March 21st, 2019, their focus for the next 20 years does not seem to include a definitive switch to renewable sources.

*EE describes making processes more efficient and the proportion of power produced through plant improvements.