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.



Young Professionals Association Hosts Eighth Annual Awards Program

The Young Professionals Association of Chattanooga (YPAC) hosted its eighth annual YP Awards program today at the Chattanoogan.  This year’s winners in each category are: YP of the Year Tiffanie Robinson, Lamp Post Group YP-Friendly Business of the Year Monen Restaurants YP Entrepreneur of the Year Jorge Parra, Taqueria Jalisco YP Corporate ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Business Calendar For Feb. 28-March 6

March 2015   SA/28 24Hour Generator at Mad, Bad, and Dangerous 3:00 p.m. Girls Preparatory School: 205 Island Ave. 24Hour Generator is a new event designed for enterprising high school girls across the region. Hosted by The Company Lab (CO.LAB) and held as part of GPS’s inaugural  Mad, Bad, and Dangerous  event, 24Hour Generator ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

88-Year-Old Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)