The Tennessee Valley Authority says 750 employees have retired or resigned through a voluntary incentive program, another 1,000 vacant positions are being eliminated and more cuts are on the way. It will be the largest staff reduction at the federal utility in more than 20 years.
Cuts are also planned in TVA's nuclear program and involuntary layoffs are expected later this year. The cuts are being made so staffing levels and electric rates will be more in line with other utilities as power consumption growth slows.
TVA president Bill Johnson says he wants a $500 million reduction in annual expenses by next year.
TVA supplies power to about nine million customers in Kentucky and Tennessee as well as Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission is asking electric and natural gas utilities to work with customers who are having difficulty paying higher heating bills in the wake of this harsh winter.
The agency that regulates the state's utilities sent a letter to chief executives of the utilities urging the electric and natural gas providers to "be as flexible as possible in avoiding disconnections and in allowing customers to make arrangements to extend their payments."
PSC Chairman David Armstrong says the higher monthly bills could come as a shock to many customers. The Commission says assistance is available from the state through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP. A number of utilities have also announced increase corporate contributions to their assistance programs.
A Kentucky state legislator says he’s continuing his inquiry into Tennessee Valley Authority board meeting procedures a month after requesting documents from the company.
State Representative Brent Yonts (D-Greenville) attended a TVA board meeting in November where members voted to shutter some generating units at the Paradise Steam Plant in Muhlenberg County.
Yonts said he was flabbergasted to see the processes on which the TVA Board conducts its meetings.
Yonts said the vote to close the units came with no debate or meaningful discussion other than a vote based upon a motion prepared by someone other than the board members.
In January, Yonts sent a letter to the TVA criticizing the board’s lack of transparency and requested several documents from the company under the Freedom of Information Act including previous board meeting minutes and the data the board based its decisions on.
Greenville Representative Brent Yonts has sent a letter to the President of the Tennessee Valley Authority voicing his dissatisfaction with the transparency of the company’s decisions.
Yonts attended a November meeting of TVA board members to give testimony on the then-proposed closure of two units at the Paradise Steam plant in Muhlenberg County.
Yonts says as the meeting proceeded, it quickly became apparent board members only read from prepared motions and neglected to listen to or debate public comments before voting to close the plant.
“I just want to articulate to them that, as a representative in the Kentucky General Assembly, that I’m not happy with the way they treat such an important issue in Kentucky sort of in an isolated vacuum where they’re not sensitive to what the public thinks or the impact on the public which in this case will cause 2,700 jobs unless they’re absorbed into the regional economy," the Greenville Democrat said.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has also questioned the transparency of the TVA board meeting and sent his own letter last month.
Yonts says he’s requested data the board members reviewed as well as minutes from past meetings under the Freedom of Information Act and will decide if further action needs to be taken.
A Tennessee Valley Authority coal-fired power plant in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky has landed on an environmental group's list of top polluters.
The report Thursday from the Environmental Integrity Project says the TVA Paradise Fossil Plant near Drakesboro emitted 1,505 pounds of arsenic, 1,907 pounds of lead and 1,409 pounds of chromium in 2011. The plant was third on the group's metal emissions list that used the most recent data available from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The 2,200-megawatt plant is the largest in Kentucky by wattage output. TVA said in 2011 it is spending $500 million to upgrade pollution controls on two generating units at the plant. TVA's website says the work was to be completed by last month.
The Associated Press is reporting that both of the nuclear power plants operated by TVA in Tennessee had unplanned reactor outages last month. The outage at each plant lasted two days, according to a spokesman for the Tennessee Valley Authority.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is hoping to increase public awareness about right-of-way maintenance procedures that are designed to promote safety and reduce the chance of a power outage occurring. The TVA says the "border zone" area next to transmission lines is being surveyed on a regular basis, to help identify any vegetation that could cause problems.
TVA is unveiling a new program, designed to encourage paper and aluminum recycling at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. The facility in the bluegrass state is the first of four in the Southeast starting such programs.
The Tennessee Valley Authority will look for ways to reduce its expenses in the months ahead, and some positions will be cut. TVA officials announced today that the power supplier brought in about eleven percent less revenue during the first six months of its financial year, compared to the first six months of the previous financial year. An unusually warm winter, which reduced power sales, was cited as a major contributing factor.