TVA’s people committed to future of carbon-free energy

While being interviewed for the position of CEO and president of the Tennessee Valley Authority earlier this year, I was asked why I would want to come to TVA. For me, the answer was easy. The strength of TVA is its people. We have an experienced and talented workforce committed — each and every day — to improving the quality of life for the 10 million people we serve.

I am privileged and honored to lead such a dedicated, passionate group of employees. At TVA, our unique, long-standing mission of service drives and inspires us daily to pursue new ideas and innovative solutions that improve our service to you.

A leader in carbon reduction

Working together with our local power companies, we’ve achieved exceptional results. Today, nearly 60% of the energy we produce comes from carbon-free sources.

While we are a national leader in carbon reduction — double the national utility average — we aren’t satisfied. We are committed to increasing our carbon reduction while maintaining our focus on delivering the reliable, low-cost energy you expect and deserve.

We’ve worked to significantly lower our operating and maintenance costs, improving both productivity and efficiency. These savings are passed on to you in terms of lower energy costs. About 75% of the nation pays more for energy than those served by TVA. Energy costs will remain flat in 2020, and our commitment is to keep them stable for the next 10 years.

In partnership with local power companies, our Home Energy Uplift program works to make homes across the region more energy efficient. This program assists low-income residents, saving them more than 25% on their energy bills.

Over the past 20 years, TVA has helped build the region’s solar industry in a sustainable, cost-effective way. We have added more solar as the price comes down, so the solar energy we deliver is a good buy for our customers, and we are continuing to add solar as prices become more competitive. Today, we get renewable energy from about 4,000 locations across seven states. We produce twice as much renewable energy as other utilities in the region.

We aspire to and are committed to do more. In the next two decades, we expect to add up to 14 gigawatts of solar generation and 5 gigawatts of battery storage through a structured, cost-effective strategy.

Today, our region has the cleanest air on record, and more companies are choosing to locate here. This year, we helped add or retain more than 66,000 jobs and nearly $9 billion in capital investment to the region.

Long-term partnerships, investments

This fall, we announced a long-term partnership proposal with our local power companies that allows us to fully leverage the capability of the public power model across the region. The long-term partnerships support the long-term investments TVA is making in the power system as we continue to retire coal-burning plants, add more renewables and modernize the transmission system to keep TVA energy reliable. And the agreements include the flexibility for local power companies to add local renewable generation to their systems. Together with our public power partners in communities across the region, we are committed to building a cleaner, brighter energy future.

I’m optimistic about the future of TVA and our region. My optimism is rooted in what I believe sets us apart: our people.

Jeff Lyash is president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority. Lyash leads the nation’s largest public utility in its mission of serving the people of the Tennessee Valley to make life better through low-cost energy, environmental stewardship and economic development.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

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Published December 10, 2019