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How does a large electric utility like the Tennessee Valley Authority decide how to structure its energy portfolio to make the most economic sense while recognizing future uncertainty?

Students and the public interested in sustainability, energy modeling and economics are invited to attend a forum exploring this question on Wednesday, April 16.

“Exploring Least-Regrets Resource Planning: A Forum on Modeling for Long-Range Power Supply Studies” begins at 4:00 p.m. in the Toyota Auditorium of the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy. Free and open to the public, it will feature Gary Brinkworth, senior program manager and leader of the Integrated Resource Plan at Tennessee Valley Authority.

TVA uses a suite of modeling tools in its Integrated Resource Plan to identify the energy portfolio that best positions TVA to lead the region and nation toward a cleaner and more secure energy future. Brinkworth will discuss these tools and how they impact TVA’s planning.

“Resource planning studies, like TVA’s current IRP, recommend options that could become part of the future energy mix in the Valley,” Brinkworth said. “Insight into modeling methods and tools can help people better understand how recommendations are developed.”

Since the Baker Center focuses much of its attention on energy issues, partnering with TVA to host this forum was a natural fit.

“Energy resources carry both economic and environmental impacts, so these choices affect us all. It’s a privilege to get a glimpse of the decision-making process,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center.

The Baker Center is a nonpartisan institute devoted to education and research concerning public policy and civic engagement. For more information, visit


Nissa Dahlin-Brown, Baker Center, (865-974-8681,

Duncan Mansfield, TVA (865-632-4660,