TVA Board Approves Investments To Support Modernizing Power System

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors approved today a $10.7 billion budget for fiscal 2015 that achieves a sustainable $500 million savings in operations spending and a record $3.5 billion in capital investment in generating plants and system improvements.

“This budget reflects our continuing efforts to reduce our O&M spending while modernizing and diversifying our generating fleet with cleaner and more efficient technology, continuing our stewardship activities, and growing jobs and capital investment in the region,” TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said.

Even with the $500 million reduction in O&M spending, a small rate increase is necessary for new power capacity and environmental enhancements. This will ensure TVA’s power system meets the current and future needs of the 9 million residents of the Tennessee Valley.

The budget contains a 1.5-percent rate increase, slightly below the rate of inflation in the Consumer Price Index, amounting to about $1.70 more a month for the average Valley resident using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month. The increase will take effect with the FY2015 budget year that begins Oct. 1, 2014.

“We have carefully considered the impact this might have on our customers and the businesses, industries and people of the region,” said Mr. Johnson. “This small rate adjustment – in addition to our internal cost reductions – is necessary to meet revenue requirements for 2015.”

TVA reduced its debt by $1.2 billion in FY2014 while continuing to invest in its power system to deliver reliable, lower-cost and cleaner electricity. The 2015 capital budget includes about $1 billion in base capital to fund continued operation of current assets, with the rest funding the completion of Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2, a new gas plant at Paradise,  environmental controls at Gallatin Fossil Plant, new generation at Allen Fossil Plant, significant transmission work, and other items.

As part of TVA’s efforts to move to a more diverse, flexible and cleaner generation fleet, the board approved replacing the Allen coal-fired plant with a new combined-cycle gas plant. Under TVA’s 2011 Clean Air Agreements with the Environmental Protection Agency and others, TVA must either retire the Memphis-area coal plant or put on environmental controls by December 2018.

“Replacing the existing plant with a gas unit is more economical than retrofitting it with environmental controls,” said Mr. Johnson. He cited the age of the existing plant, the cost of complying with existing or foreseeable environmental regulations, and the uncertainty of the cost of future regulation as reasons for choosing an alternative technology at Allen.

TVA considered a range of generation sources for the site, including wind, solar, biomass, and various natural gas configurations. “The gas combined-cycle option was the best match to TVA’s statutory standards that call for us to achieve the lowest system cost, and deliver power reliably at the lowest feasible cost to consumers, while also meeting system-wide needs,” Mr. Johnson explained.

During Mr. Johnson’s report to the board, he touched on several topics including TVA’s continued emphasis on cleaner energy sources, stewardship and economic development. As of 2013, nearly half of TVA’s electricity was from clean energy sources and carbon emissions are more than 30 percent below 2005 levels. Last fiscal year, 16 percent of TVA’s power supply came from renewable energy sources including solar, wind and hydro.

“As we achieve top quartile in industrial rates in the Valley, we’re seeing record capital investment of nearly $8 billion dollars,” Mr. Johnson said. This has helped create and retain 52,000 jobs so far this year and helped foster economic opportunity across the region.”


Bradley County Sheriff's Office Warns Public Of Another Green Dot Card Scam

Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson has issued an alert concerning attempted fraud in the area.  The sheriff said law enforcement agencies have received numerous calls of yet another “Green Dot” card swindle. There have been several other scams of this type in Southeast Tennessee and nationwide. Complainants report they receive a phone call from a male identifying ... (click for more)

Dalton Police Seek Suspect In Bank Card Fraud

The Dalton Police Department is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who used a stolen credit card to rack up more than $450 in fraudulent charges. The card was stolen from a man’s bag in an unlocked gym locker. The theft happened sometime between 4:30 and 6:45 p.m. on Jan. 15. The male victim left his belongings unlocked in a gym locker room while he worked out. After ... (click for more)

Shelley Andrews Will Be Missed

Shelley Andrews was one of the kindest, most thoughtful and most effective laborers in our community.  Her work with the Friends of Moccasin Bend was exemplary.  She listened, she learned and she led with dignity and class. Her brave battle with ovarian cancer was a testament to her positive spirit and commitment to her work on behalf of the people of this region. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: He’s Exempt From Drunk

I love the old story about a popular Senator who, during the Cuban Missile Crisis, was asked late one evening, “Sir, what if we get bombed?” to which came the quick reply, “I’d be absolutely delighted … I can get one of my aides to drive us home afterwards.” You think of stuff like that when word comes from Kentucky that state legislator Brandon Smith was caught driving erratically ... (click for more)

Libby Peigen Named Soddy-Daisy Volleyball Coach

Libby Peigen, daughter of Ooltewah coach Elaine Peigen, has been named head volleyball coach at Soddy-Daisy, replacing Lorri Johnson. Peigen had been head middle school and assistant varsity coach at East Hamilton before taking over the Lady Trojans' program. She played volleyball at Ooltewah and Lee University. The announcement of Peigen's hiring was originally posted ... (click for more)

Hamilton Heights' Duran Commits To MTSU

(Story will be updated) Hamilton Heights wing Joan Duran has made a verbal commitment to Middle Tennessee State University. Duran, a 6-foot-6-inch senior, has been instrumental in the Hawks’ highly successful season. Duran and Hamilton Heights (22-2) will participate in the prestigious Huntington (W.Va.) Prep Classic this weekend. The Hawks will play Arlington Country ... (click for more)