TAEBC hosts lunch & learn with TVA’s newest board member Jeff Smith

TAEBC members had the opportunity to have an open dialogue with the newest addition to TVA’s board, Jeff Smith.

Smith was nominated by President Donald Trump on Sept. 21, 2017, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 21, 2017. He was sworn in by U.S. District Judge Pamela L. Reeves of the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Director Smith lives in Knoxville and serves as the Executive Vice President of Operations for UT-Battelle and the Deputy for Operations at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

During the meeting, Smith discussed his leadership style was something that was passed down to him from his father by leaving things in a better condition then when you found it.

He also elaborated how when it comes to economic development, TVA has been working to recruit companies to the area by making things more simplistic. He mentioned several conversations have taken place at TVA as the energy company sees more industries moving to the area, they are brainstorming ways TVA can be involved in the process.

Jeff also seemed open to more focus groups and interactions with stakeholders that include pilot or demonstration projects with TAEBC members.

TVA hosting IRP 2019 Quarterly Webinar

TVA is hosting its first Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) Quarterly Public Update Meeting on May 15, 2018. The webinar will run from 11 to 11:45 a.m. EDT, and participants will need to register here.

The 2019 IRP is a comprehensive study that provides direction on how to best meet future electricity demand. Learn more about the IRP on TVA’s IRP website.

IRP quarterly webinars are designed to ensure continued transparency, information-sharing and public engagement around the development of the 2019 IRP. TVA held a scoping webinar at the kickoff of the 2019 IRP.

At the May 15 webinar, TVA will:

  • Introduce the 2019 IRP – What it is, why TVA is doing it and how it will help determine the Valley’s energy future,
  • Provide an update on where TVA is in the developing process,
  • Summarize public scoping comments,
  • Review next steps.

If interested, please be sure to register.

TVA board approves rate structure change, imposing new fixed fee

(Credit: Knoxville News Sentinel)

The TVA board voted unanimously Thursday to change its rate structure, cutting its wholesale power rate by a half-cent per kilowatt-hour, and imposing a half-cent fixed fee per kilowatt-hour instead.

TVA officials say the controversial move won’t bring in more money than the current billing system, but critics denounce it as shifting more costs from big industrial customers down onto rate-paying homeowners.

TVA board members are meeting in Florence, Alabama, on Thursday.

At a 90-minute morning “listening session,” members of the public, environmental and social groups, and power industry representatives gave mostly negative comments on the proposal.

Primary reasons were greater impact on the poorest ratepayers, and the assertion that a flat fee will discourage energy efficiency.

Read the full story here.

TAEBC submits comments to TVA over 2019 IRP

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council submitted the following comments to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regarding its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) scoping.

To whom it may concern:

The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) is pleased to submit the following comments to the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) regarding its 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) scoping. 

TAEBC would like to reiterate our commitment to supporting TVA as it takes steps to proactively address the evolving utility marketplace. Our intent is to provide TVA with economic development data to inform the utility’s decision on how best to meet future electricity demands.

TAEBC champions advanced energy as an economic development and job creation strategy. We exist to foster the growth of Tennessee’s advanced energy technologies, companies and jobs. Advanced energy is technology neutral – anything that makes energy cleaner, safer, more secure or more efficient is in the tent. At its core, we look to energy innovation as an economic development opportunity.

We encourage TVA to examine the advanced energy industry and Tennessee’s leadership position within the industry as it considers its 2019 IRP. This is a growing and lucrative sector of our economy. States and regions that provide an attractive home for this industry – and its workforce – will be rewarded with jobs and capital investment.

For example, Tennessee’s advanced energy economy contributes $33 billion to our state’s GDP, employs nearly 325,000 people, includes more than 17,000 business entities and pays an average annual wage that exceeds the state average.[1]

Globally, advanced energy is a $1.4 trillion industry. That is almost twice the size of the global airline industry and nearly equal to worldwide apparel revenue.[2]

TAEBC encourages TVA to consider how its IRP might encourage or discourage economic development, capital investment and jobs in our region from the advanced energy sector. This includes companies that 1) are directly engaged in the advanced energy industry (i.e. manufacture advanced energy widgets), 2) deploy advanced energy technologies as part of a commitment to corporate sustainability and 3) provide professional services (i.e. installers, engineers, etc that locate operations and talent in the region to service regional customers).

TAEBC has seen Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 companies across the country and Tennessee commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency targets or establish sustainability goals.[3] To remain competitive at recruiting and retaining business and industry, the Valley must offer an attractive environment for these companies to meet their goals and deploy advanced energy technologies.

As an example, Amazon specifically mentions “sustainability” in its HQ2 FAQ page – noting the company’s commitment to deploy advanced energy technologies at its facilities. The state that is selected for Amazon’s HQ2 will be rewarded with a $5 billion construction project and as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs.[4]

According to a report from Ceres that examines data provided by Fortune 500 companies, the largest companies in the United States are steadily increasing their clean energy and energy efficiency efforts while improving their bottom lines – a trend that is having an important role in the decarbonization of the U.S. electric power sector in recent years.[5] From the report: 

“Overall, nearly half of the companies in the 2016 Fortune 500 have set targets to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG), improve energy efficiency, and/or increase renewable energy sourcing—up five percentage points from our last report in 2014.

The strongest efforts are among Fortune 100 companies, with 63 percent adopting or retaining goals. In addition to the steady overall increase, the report also shows strong improvement among the smallest 100 companies in the Fortune 500, with 44 percent of these setting goals in one or more categories, up 19 percentage points from 2013.”

We encourage TVA to use the IRP to increase technological innovation and investment in the Valley so that we may seize this opportunity and emerge on the winning end of this trend, rather than fall behind.

With these objectives in mind, we offer the following guidance for the IRP process:

●      Ensure there is a collaborative, public, open stakeholder process for developing the IRP.
●      Resource planning should include both TVA-built resources and procured third-party resources; as well as take into consideration customer-sited and demand-side management resources. Correctly valuing distributed energy resources (DERs) is critical to integrating the benefits they offer to both demand and supply side operators. Valuing a stack or system of DERs is a challenge that must be addressed as the net benefits may increase when certain technologies are used together.


Thank you for the opportunity to provide comments. TAEBC stands ready to assist TVA as it  becomes the energy company of the future.


Cortney Piper

Vice President, TN Advanced Energy Business Council

606 W Main Street, Suite 250, Knoxville, TN 37902

P: 865-789-2669

Cc TAEBC Board of Directors

      Matt Kisber, President
      Steve Bares, Secretary

Tom Ballard, Immediate Past President
Jeff Kanel
Trish Starkey
Marc Gibson
Jim DeMouy
Mary Beth Hudson
Chris Bowles

[1] Tennessee Advanced Energy Economic Impact Report, TN Advanced Energy Business Council (2015). http://tnadvancedenergy.com/tennessee-advanced-energy-economic-impact-report/

[2] Advanced Energy Now, 2017 Market Report, Advanced Energy Economy (2018). http://info.aee.net/hubfs/PDF/AEN-2017-Market-Report.pdf

[3] More Companies Set 100% Renewable Energy Goals in 2017, Energy Manager Today (December 2017). https://www.energymanagertoday.com/100-renewable-energy-goals-2017-0173841/

Deadline to submit public comment on TVA 2018 rate change proposal

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) proposes to revise the structure of its wholesale electric power rates through pricing that better aligns wholesale rates with the underlying costs to serve wholesale customers. As outlined in the August 2017 rate change letter to local power companies (LPCs), TVA proposes to reduce the standard service energy rates by 1¢ per kWh and establish a grid access charge to recover an equivalent amount of revenue.

On March 9, 2018, TVA released a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) that reviews the proposed rate change and the potential environmental and economic impacts of the change. The draft EA is available for public review and comment until April 9, 2018.

In the EA, TVA considers a broad range of three potential rate change alternatives. In addition to reviewing its proposal (1¢ per kWh), TVA reviewed an alternative that would apply a smaller energy charge reduction and grid access charge (0.25¢/kWh) and an alternative that would apply a larger reduction and grid access charge (2.5¢/kWh). Each of the rate change alternatives under review in the EA would be revenue neutral for TVA (i.e. they would not change the amount of TVA revenue).

In addition, TVA proposes to make several other changes in rates, including:

  1. Incorporating the environmental adjustment and other adjustments currently on the adjustment addendum into the base rates;
  2. Moving all hydro allocation adjustments (credits to residential customers, debits to non-residential customers) from base rates to the appropriate adjustment addendum;
  3. Decreasing Large General Service rates to move them closer to what it costs to serve those customers. Rates for Standard Service and Large Manufacturing Service will be increased slightly so that this change is revenue neutral;
  4. Updating the power cost recovery components of LPCs’ resale rates to account for changed Standard Service wholesale rates and changed hydro allocation adjustments;
  5. Changing the fuel cost adjustment mechanism to administer the resource cost allocation to three rate classes instead of two rate classes;
  6. Providing LPCs flexibility in their adminstration of the hydro allocation credits distributed to residential consumers;
  7. Implementing a series of rate administration simplification initiatives to simplify business conducted through the rate schedules, including:
    1. Modifying Part B of the Outdoor Lighting rate schedule to replace the list of available fixtures with a cost-based formula,
    2. Consolidating the B, C and D rate schedules into one manufacturing schedule and one general service scheule, while maintaining the current rate structure and separate rates for each class, and
    3. Phasing out or eliminating mid-month billing; and
  8. Updating ESS (Electricity Sales Statistics) reporting requirements.

Although provided for under the current wholesale rate schedule and not a change to the wholesale rate schedule, TVA also proposes to rebalance the hydro allocation credits distributed to residential consumers with the hydro allocation debits collected from non-residential consumers to reflect recent declines in commercial and industrial sales.

While the proposed rate change would not affect the total revenue collected by TVA, the allocation of revenues across customer classes and among LPCs would change slightly. If approved by the TVA Board of Directors, the rate change would be implemented October 1, 2018.

Submitting Comments

TVA welcomes the public’s comments on the draft EA. Comments must be received or postmarked no later than April 9, 2018. Comments may be submitted by e-mail or mail to Matthew Higdon at the addresses below. Please note that any comments received, including names and addresses, will become part of the project administrative record and will be available for public inspection.

For more information click here.