TVA officials discuss plans, development with area leaders

By Joseph McCain The Winston County Journal

With the Tennessee Valley Authority planning to keep its present rates through 2013, several TVA officials took an opportunity Wednesday, Aug. 22 to discuss the company’s plans with area leaders.

Energy creation, use of resources and economic development were the main thoughts discussed by the group of leaders.

Tim Weston, TVA representative, outlined how TVA balanced low rates with an expense driven business.

“We maintain a balanced portfolio of several different generation sources, said Weston explaining TVA’s investment in nuclear, natural gas and other energy generation methods.

“We are planning 30 to 40 years down the road and work to keep a balance of options,” added Weston. “TVA intends to be one of the nation’s lowest-cost power providers by 2020 by maintaining a balanced portfolio of several different generation sources, so it is not susceptible to a price spike in any one sector.”

The importance of power generation to economic development was also discussed.

“Supplying reliable, competitively priced electricity is the single most important thing TVA can do for the economic health of the region,” said Weston.

Weston noted that three of the marquee economic development projects in the state were at TVA megasites.

“We have one of the best and most responsive economic development teams,” said Weston.

TVA provides economic development services in three broad areas: business recruiting and development assistance, business resources and technical services such as engineering and design. TVA’s partners in economic development work include power distributors, regional and local economic development associations, state agencies, chambers of commerce and community leaders.

Weston added that TVA was part of the economic development success in the state and while the economic downturn had throttled back projects that economic development work was never done and TVA continued to work hard at developing ways to help.

TVA officials hope the meeting will provide a better path of communication with elected leaders on how TVA works and can help the community. TVA provides power to 155 municipal and cooperative systems including Louisville. Electric power selling accounts for 85 percent of its revenue. TVA through its partnerships provides electricity to 9 million people in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.