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.”



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, BRAD DEWAYNE  2821 3RD AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 37 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County Booked for Previous Charges or Other Reason(s) --- ADKINS, KENDRA R  132 PARKS DRIVE FORT OGLETHORPE, 30742  Age at Arrest: 19 years old Arresting Agency: Red Bank ... (click for more)

Travis Caslin, 42, Shot While Walking Along South Willow Street

Chattanooga Police said a man was shot on Friday night while walking along South Willow Street.   The victim was identified as Travis Caslin, 42.   At 7:37 p.m., Chattanooga Police officers were called to a local hospital after a person showed up with a gunshot wound.   Police were informed that the victim's condition was non-life threatening. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s All About People

The leaders of Hamilton County’s Mental Health Court held a heart-warming open house Friday afternoon and it was announced that just since February, the creation has saved the county over $3 million in incarceration costs. But to hear County Mayor Jim Coppinger or Judge Don Poole tell it, that’s not what is important. “Soon after the court started, a kind, quiet man I’ll ... (click for more)

Mocs Fall 20-14 To Visiting Citadel

The Chattanooga Mocs fell just short in a 20-14 heart-breaker against The Citadel. It was a hard-fought game that went the full 60 minutes.   The Mocs defense stiffened and gave their offensive teammates a shot late in the fourth quarter. The Citadel marched 41 yards, churning out 5-plus minutes of game clock. Tae Davis dropped Grant Drakeford for a 3-yard loss at the Mocs ... (click for more)

Top-Ranked Alabama Smashes Tennessee 45-7

Tennessee, a 34-point underdog in one of college football’s better long-running series, stayed close for one quarter before top-ranked Alabama switched to another gear and pummeled the struggling Vols, 45-7, Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The rock-ribbed Crimson Tide defense locked down Tennessee’s ground game, hounded quarterback Jarrett Guarantano relentlessly ... (click for more)