Black History Month Energy Leaders Blog Series: Lynn Evans Becomes First African American Woman to Lead TVA Board

For the first time in its 83-year old history, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has an African-American woman leading its Board of Directors. It is also the first time someone from Memphis, which is home to TVA’s largest customer Memphis Light, Gas and Water (MLGW), has held the Board chair. V. Lynn Evans was named as the new TVA Board Chair after the former TVA Board Chair, Joe Ritch, ended his term on January 3, 2017. In these polarizing times, we celebrate the fact that one of our largest utilities in the Southeast has appointed a qualified leader like Ms. Evans – and broken with history by appointing a woman to Board chair for the first time. As one local Memphis publication put it – Ms. Evans is “a ‘first’ on three fronts.”

What’s the #1 reason utilities should purchase wind from Clean Line?

The project is estimated to cost a mere 3 cents per kilowatt-hour. That’s comparable to the price of operating a modern natural gas power plant, making wind not only cost-effective but a guaranteed low-cost electricity source for decades in the future. Because there is no fuel cost associated with wind energy, utilities can secure long-term contracts (approximately 20-25 years) and lock in prices that protect their customers from price spikes due to volatility in fossil fuel costs. TVA could also receive additional benefits by acting as a pass-through transmission provider for other utilities purchasing wind energy, and earn additional revenue. For the TVA system, the project is estimated to actually reduce overall costs by about $1.44 per megawatt hour.

Success! Memphis City Council Votes to Help Lift Extreme Energy Burden

At Tuesday afternoon’s Memphis City Council meeting, the Council unanimously approved a resolution that strongly recommends changing Memphis Light Gas and Water’s (MLGW) current Share the Pennies program to an “automatically enrolled” format. This small program design change, which SACE has been advocating for since Spring 2016, will help generate significantly more funding for Project Care, MLGW’s low-income home weatherization initiative – potentially generating around $1.5 million dollars per year! Additionally, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), MLGW’s wholesale power provider, has agreed to purchase any energy savings realized by the “new” Share the Pennies program, providing another valuable source of funding for a program.

Top 3 Coal Ash Stories to Follow in 2017

2017 is shaping up to be an important year for coal ash in the Southeast. Here are the three critical stories to watch.

Thankful for More Solar in Alabama

While the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been retiring old coal plants or investing in expensive pollution controls to keep other coal plants operational, it has primarily focused on replacing any lost generation capacity with its preferred version of “clean energy” – nuclear and natural gas. However, TVA is moving further into the renewable energy [...]

TVA: The Time to Contract for Clean Line’s Wind Power is Now

The time to contract for low cost wind power is now. The largest renewable energy project in the making is a proposed power line that will bring huge amounts of cheap, wind energy to the South, but electric companies must act quickly.

The Local Power Company of the Future?! Chattanooga’s EPB Lights the Way for Others

Imagine a world where your local power company calls you and tells you they’ve identified a potential problem with your home that is causing you to have unnecessarily high utility bills.

Imagine a representative of your local power company showing up at your front door to investigate the problem.

Imagine finding out from your power company that you have a problem with your heating and cooling system and that they are going to help fix it.

Imagine getting a lower utility bill.

Sound too good to be true? Well, the Southeast is home to a utility that is already doing this – and providing low cost internet and television service to their customers. Chattanooga Electric Power Board (EPB) is setting a new standard of service for local power companies and SACE staff recently got a peek behind the scenes to learn more about how EPB is paving the way towards a more service oriented utility.

Glasgow EPB’s “mystery hour” rate gets a reboot

Glasgow Electric Power Board (EPB), one of the Tennessee Valley Authority‘s member utilities, has established a reputation of being a thoughtful and forward-looking company. For nearly two decades, Glasgow EPB has been a leader in the deployment of smart grid technologies and practices. For example, in 2007, Glasgow EPB began installing fiber-based broadband to all [...]

How one southeastern city is connecting renewable energy, transit and electric cars

Last week, we published a blog on Chattanooga’s Empower Chattanooga program, a flagship project for local sustainability, non-profit green spaces, and low-income energy efficiency solutions. But, Chattanooga is also leading the way with some innovative new transportation initiatives. On October 24, as part of a hearing in Ringgold, Georgia (near the GA/TN border) of the Georgia [...]

Education, trust and data combine to help Empower Chattanooga lower power bills for low-income families

Their mission is simple: teaching low-income residents low- and no-cost ways to reduce their power bills, something that has a direct impact on quality of life. Since launching, the Empower Chattanooga program has helped 800 participants take control of their energy costs and achieve meaningful relief from their month-to-month financial strain. On average, these families are saving $400 per year with little to no upfront cost.