Alexander, Fincher Raise Questions About Proposal For TVA Purchase Of Oklahoma Wind Power

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander and U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) Wednesday sent a letter to Bill Johnson, president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, to raise questions about a proposal for the utility to purchase wind-generated electricity from Oklahoma.

Clean Line Energy Partners has proposed generating wind power in Oklahoma and transporting it 700 miles to Memphis. The senator and congressman asked 11 questions on a range of potential issues with such a proposal, including cost to rate payers, energy security, the reliability of wind power and eminent domain concerns associated with building a transmission line from Oklahoma to Tennessee. 

Senator Alexander said, “It’s up to the TVA board to decide what kinds of electricity to generate and purchase. But it is the responsibility of members of Congress to provide oversight to TVA policies, and these questions are part of that oversight.”

Rep. Fincher said, “It’s imperative that we understand what sort of effects this potential purchase could have on Tennessee residents. I’m particularly concerned about any possible use of eminent domain in order to complete this project, and the impact on energy costs this would have on citizens of West Tennessee.”

The letter noted a roundtable hosted by Senators Alexander and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), at which Mr. Johnson said that TVA didn’t need additional electricity generation capacity as a result of reduced electricity demand.

In their letter, Senator Alexander and Rep. Fincher wrote, “When evaluating Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposal we hope that TVA will first consider whether TVA needs additional generation capacity and then determine the best option to produce clean, cheap, and reliable electricity for rate-payers in the TVA region.”

For access to this release and the senator’s other statements, click here.
 
The full text of the letter follows:
 
Dear Mr. Johnson,
 
We write today to seek your assistance in answering several questions about Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposal for TVA to purchase a large amount of wind energy that would be generated in the panhandle region of the State of Oklahoma and transported over 700 miles to Memphis.
 
1)      Does purchasing electricity from this distance increase security threats to the TVA’s power supply? Former U.S. Secretary of State George Schultz has said we should pay attention to generating more energy where we use it because of national security risks.

2)      What is the cost of purchasing wind electricity compared to TVA generating or purchasing other types of electricity generation?

3)      There is substantial opposition in Congress to the wind production tax credit. Will TVA ratepayers be at risk of increased rates if the wind production tax credit is not renewed?

4)      What is the reliability of purchasing wind power as compared to other types of electricity generated by natural gas, nuclear, coal, or hydropower?

5)      TVA’s peak power demands tend to be between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and wind tends to mostly blow at night. How does wind power fit into TVA’s overall demand structure if the electricity isn’t being produced when TVA needs it the most?

6)      At a roundtable in September 2013, hosted by Senators Corker and Alexander, you said that TVA didn’t need additional electricity generation capacity as the result of reduced electricity demand. Has this projection changed?

7)      If the projection for TVA’s electricity demand has changed since September 2013, does it make more sense to purchase this wind power from Clean Line Energy Partners, to build additional nuclear capacity, or to build additional natural gas or coal capacity?

8)      Does Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposal require the use of eminent domain in order to acquire any right-of-way for this project? How many land owners or homeowners will be impacted by the use of eminent domain, what specific lands will be acquired and where are they located?

9)      Can you explain how Clean Line Energy Partners plans to compensate any landowners or homeowners who are affected by eminent domain?

10)  How will the price of compensation be determined? Does Clean Line Energy Partners have a specific formula when compensating for land purchased under the use of eminent domain?

11)  What funding stream will Clean Line Energy Partners use to compensate landowners and homeowners for the land purchased under eminent domain?
 

When evaluating Clean Line Energy Partners’ proposal we hope that TVA will first consider whether TVA needs additional generation capacity and then determine the best option to produce clean, cheap, and reliable electricity for rate-payers in the TVA region.




Get A Grip Resurfacing Franchise Has New Owner

Get A Grip Chattanooga has a new owner. Nick DelPapa has joined the nationwide network of Get A Grip Franchising, taking over the existing franchise that has been transforming the resurfacing industry in the greater Chattanooga area. Get A Grip Resurfacing repairs and resurfaces cracked fiberglass bathtubs, scratched or stained porcelain tile and even Formica, laminate or cultured ... (click for more)

Cleveland/Bradley Chamber Of Commerce Announces New Communications Director

The Cleveland / Bradley Chamber of Commerce announced Joel Henderson as the new Communications director. Mr. Henderson will lead the communications efforts for publications, marketing, promotional strategies, digital communications and media relations. With over 20 years of experience in public relations, business development and marketing strategies, Mr.  Henderson has worked ... (click for more)

Girlfriend Says Wright Was Driving Her PT Cruiser When He Left With Pair Whose Bodies Were Found At Cemetery

The girlfriend of William Howard Wright testified Tuesday that Wright and "Little Tony" were with two youths whose bodies were afterward found in a cemetery at Shepherd. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck bound two counts of criminal homicide and especially aggravated robbery to the Grand Jury against Wright. A 17-year-old is facing similar charges. The girlfriend ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Pay Increases Announced

Chattanooga Police officers will be earning more under a $1.4 million pay improvement plan announced Tuesday. New officers would get increases in each of their first six years with the department, which has been dealing with a number of newly trained officers going to other cities. City officers now make $35,913 upon joining the force. Under the plan, they will receive about ... (click for more)

The Soul Of Chattanooga Is In Trouble

As a child growing up in the Chattanooga area, at an early age I became fascinated with the history that cloaks the city. In those days there was enough pollution to cover the town and its history but that didn't stop tourists from coming to visit Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and the Chickamauga battlefield.     Chattanooga's leadership was not very far sighted ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Ordinary To Extraordinary

A handsome black guy, from the looks of it still in high school, appeared in a video during A Celebration of Valor luncheon at the Chattanooga Convention Center Tuesday afternoon and described a Medal of Honor winner. Easily over 500 were there, including our famed Charles Coolidge, and all heard this young achiever say, “A Medal winner if an ordinary person who performs in an extraordinary ... (click for more)