In 2013, we saw nearly record breaking amounts of rain.
In 2013, we saw nearly record breaking amounts of rain. It kept crews busy at the Tennessee Valley Authority, while also keeping a few extra dollars in your bank accounts.
It works like this: The more rain there is, the more water for the hydro-powered dams to churn through.
This calendar year and fiscal year the valley had 30% more rainfall than normal.
The Tennessee Valley Authority monitors the dams in the valley. This year, they noticed a large increase in certain numbers involving hydro-power.
"Looking at the numbers-- this has been the most rainfall we have had since 1957. In the eastern part of the valley, over 65 inches of rain," said TVA's James Everett.
Part of their duty is to prevent flooding to cities close to the rivers.
"When we get the extra rain like we have gotten in 2013, we are able to store a lot of that rainfall in our reservoirs. That means that we can run hydro-generators more frequently," said Everett.
This helped TVA reach a hydro-generation record in the fiscal year of 2013, which ended in September.
More hydro-generation means lower usage of other energy sources. In turn, this lowers your electricity bills.
"We have seen a reduction over the last several months in cost compared particularly to last year. That's because of our record hydroelectric production which has been 13 percent of our total generating this year as opposed to our normal 10 percent," said TVA's Duncan Mansfield.
They monitor 49 dams in the valley. Twenty-nine of those generate hydro-powered electricity. And if the rain keeps up, hydro-power will become more prominent.
"Hydro electricity is TVA's cheapest form of electricity. So the more we are able to change and generate from hydro, the greater the savings from everyone. That goes directly to consumers' bills for what they are paying for electricity on a monthly basis," said Mansfield.
TVA also calculated that the dams avoided more than $800 million worth in flood damages this calendar year. This is opposed to an average of $260 million.