Alexander: TVA Trends in Right Direction on Debt, Overhead and Cost of Power

BUT ASKS TVA CEO, “WHY CHANGE DIRECTION NOW BY USING MORE UNRELIABLE, HIGH-COST RENEWABLE POWER?”

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“The goal is not more windmills. The law says that the goal is low-cost electricity. TVA is building emission-free nuclear plants and low-emission gas plants. It is putting pollution control equipment on its coal plants. Our air is demonstrably cleaner. What is the excuse for joining states that are raising their electric rates by using more unreliable, renewable power? If we want more good jobs and higher family incomes, TVA should stick to its mission of low rates and not be tempted to pursue the energy fad of the moment.”—Lamar Alexander

KNOXVILLE, – May 18, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said today that the Tennessee Valley Authority’s trends on debt, overhead and the cost of power are heading in the right direction, but asked TVA CEO Bill Johnson why the utility’s plans call for relying more on “unreliable, high-cost renewable power.”

At a roundtable in Knoxville he hosted with Sen. Bob Corker, Alexander asked Johnson, “Why change direction now? The goal is not more windmills. The law says that the goal is low-cost electricity. TVA is building emission-free nuclear plants and low-emission gas plants. It is putting pollution control equipment on its coal plants. Our air is demonstrably cleaner. What is the excuse for joining states that are raising their electric rates by using more unreliable, renewable power?”

Alexander told Johnson, “Some of the states that rely more heavily on renewables in their generation mix have seen the largest increases in electricity prices over the past 5 years. From 2008 to 2013, the average price of electricity across the country went up about 3 percent. During that same period, the ten states with the highest percentage of wind power today saw their price of electricity rise an average of nearly 20 percent. If we want more good jobs and higher family incomes, TVA should stick to its mission of low rates and not be tempted to pursue the energy fad of the moment.”

Alexander and Corker hosted a roundtable discussion at the University of Tennessee’s Howard H. Baker, Jr. Center for Public Policy to discuss where TVA will get its power over the next 10 years and beyond and how much it will cost ratepayers. Panelists at the event were Bill Johnson, President and CEO of TVA, Wayne Henson, chairman of the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s board of directors and Lloyd Webb, strategic planning chairman of the Tennessee Valley Industrial Committee’s board of directors.

Based in Knoxville, TVA is the nation’s largest public utility, and serves about 9 million consumers in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. TVA serves virtually all of the 95 counties in Tennessee, and there are more than 7,000 TVA employees who live in Tennessee.

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