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Electrified America

Electrified America

April 1, 1934

Power
The Tennessee Valley Authority was charged with the ambitious task of making electricity widely available to support commercial and residential interests in the struggling Tennessee Valley. It was a modest start when TVA acquired Wilson Dam near Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Soon, construction began on hydroelectric facilities along the Tennessee River at sites like Norris, Wheeler, and Pickwick. During World War II TVA built more facilities to provide power for war industries, while continuing to meet the needs of the region. After the war, the Authority built fossil fuel plants which harnessed steam power. By the 1960s, the increasing demand for electricity led TVA to begin constructing nuclear facilities. By 1977, Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant had become the largest in the world, capable of providing enough electricity to meet the needs of about 1.3 million homes. Today, the Tennessee Valley Authority uses a complex network of fossil fuel, nuclear, hydroelectric, and other renewable energy sources to generate power.