At TVA, our unique, long-standing mission of service drives and inspires our employees to continually pursue new ideas and innovative solutions that improve our service to our customers. This year, we faced a unique challenge: keeping the lights on while also keeping our teams safe and healthy during a global pandemic.
Our dedicated workforce overcame these challenges, delivering vital services and support across the region. Our employees are on the job every day generating power, controlling river flows, restoring power after storms, helping the economy recover and much more.
Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, our employees delivered for the customers and communities we proudly serve. We are committed to ensuring that our region continues to make a strong recovery from the pandemic.
Our dedicated and talented employees are committed to TVA’s unique, long-standing mission of service. Through their efforts, TVA provides low-cost, reliable and clean energy; attracts businesses and jobs to the region and protects our natural resources through environmental stewardship. We are proud of their commitment of service to you. Below are highlights of a few of our employees.
In early 2020, Dr. Noelle Currey was awarded TVA’s highest engineering honor — Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year — after being nominated by her peers and leaders based on criteria that include project performance, continuous improvement and a commitment to safety. Currey is a TVA project engineer in Transmission Power Supply & Support with eight years of service.
Currey received the award for a programming solution that checks electrical drawings with 100% accuracy to eliminate errors and rework. In under a minute, the program can evaluate thousands of wires contained in switch house panels — previously reviewed one at a time. The estimated cost savings for TVA is several million dollars. Her work helps TVA deliver 99.999% power reliability, as it has since 2000.
“TVA is built on the work of dedicated employees; and each year, we have the distinct pleasure of recognizing an individual who exemplifies excellence in the engineering field and commitment to TVA’s mission of service,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash. “Noelle’s innovation is helping TVA to continue to generate low-cost, reliable, clean energy — a key factor when companies choose to relocate or expand in our region.”
Each day, Currey makes sure TVA’s transmission power supply projects are completed on time and on budget, which keeps TVA power rates among some of the lowest in the nation.
“Noelle has distinguished herself as a leader who helps keep electricity flowing to our homes and businesses,” said Bob Dalrymple, TVA senior vice president, Transmission & Power Supply. “More importantly, her automated solution ensures the continued safety and high performance of TVA’s grid through lower production cost and error reduction.”
Currey is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Currey earned her master’s and doctorate degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology.TVA’s top engineering award is named for O.J. “Ike” Zeringue, a former TVA president, chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer.
Fisheries Biologist | Knoxville, Tenn.
Forget Career Day. Jon Michael Mollish found his calling when he walked across his backyard and yelled, “Hey, what-ch’all doin?” A TVA crew was probing the Little River with corded wands that connected to their Ghostbuster-l contraptions. Had the group ignored the question — or not ventured to Maryville, Tennessee, that morning in 2006 — Mollish doubts he’d be making his living in a pair of TVA waders today.
The posse of fisheries biologists allowed the young environmental studies major to job shadow a fish survey. The day’s highlights involved temporarily stunning a variety of fish species with an electric field in order to determine the overall health of the stream, but it also led to a five-year mentorship that gave Mollish the ability to interpret nature’s story through science.
In 2012, the team officially christened Mollish as a staff fisheries biologist. They gave him his own electrofisher to study non-game fish in the streams, rivers and shallow-water tributaries that ripple across the Valley.
“I’m all about the little fish,” he said. “Darters and minnows are my thing.”
Outside of the tropics and rainforests, the Tennessee Valley is one of the most bio-diverse regions in the world. Mollish likes to talk about this truth and how the Volunteer State has the most species of fish in the nation.
He’s full of brainy fun facts too, like how some dragonflies spend their first two years living underwater. The textbook explanation has something to do with larval stages, which the biologist often likens to a caterpillar’s journey toward becoming a butterfly — except this one is vicious. Once the submerged larvae morph into dragonflies, they go airborne and turn into the “baddest bugs in the stream.”
Mollish can talk in terms of bio-buzzwords and community-fish assessments, but for the laymen, “the plain awesomeness of the Tennessee River boils down to the little darters, minnows and other small fish that mainly reside in the tributaries.” If these fish are missing from the river, there’s a likely reason — dirt.
Sedimentation is the most common river pollutant in the world. It’s caused by erosion, which is often spawned by deforestation and poor land-use practices. In other countries, sedimentation has not only decimated once-thriving ecosystems, but has directly affected human health.
Although most Americans understand that clear-cutting large swaths of rainforests can create problems, few realize that sediment pollution is not isolated to the Amazon. Muddy waters pose the same threat here in the Valley as they do abroad. The issue is one that Mollish believes requires more education so communities can better protect the natural resources in their own backyard.
The good news is that environmental professionals like Mollish try to keep things in check. TVA and other federal, state and local agencies develop programs and initiatives designed to prevent extensive water-quality issues like sedimentation.
“Having that vegetation buffer on the sides of our riverbanks is so important to maintaining healthy streams,” Mollish said. “It’s like a sponge. When runoff and pollution hits it, it’s either slowed down or sucked up. The vegetation essentially serves as a natural filter.”
Mollish sees the benefits of this ordinary purifier through something called the Index of Biotic Integrity. The IBI is a sampling methodology TVA developed in the 1980s to assess stream health through the annual surveys of fish and aquatic communities. The system allows the agency’s biologists to identify and track water-quality issues, both positive and negative, throughout the Tennessee River watershed.
“Those fish tell me what’s happening in our rivers. If I survey an area and notice fish-X is missing but fish-Y is there in higher numbers, it may point me to a particular type of pollution. That’s why studying our fish and aquatic insects is so important. The science gives us the ability to raise the flag and hopefully correct water-quality problems before they ever have a chance to become a public health concern.”
Mollish’s hobbies aren’t much different from his daily work routine. Boats. Nature. Travel. But when the Tennessee Valley’s elaborate 650,000-acre waterpark is part of an everyday grind, sometimes it takes more exotic destinations to quench a thirst for adventure travel.
His passport stamps prove it. The man’s been places.
He’s toured Iceland in a camper van, sailed from Panama to Colombia, whitewater rafted Patagonia and spent five days floating the tailwaters of Victoria Falls in Africa. But Mollish didn’t have a sizeable trust fund or a mystery inheritance to finance the trips. He “roughed it” with his lifelong buddies — sometimes for as little as $50 per day.
Perhaps Mollish’s next vacation will be different. He’s adjusting his honeymoon plans due to COVID-19, but that’s not stopping his matrimonial plunge. He and his fiancé, Brittany, are set to exchange vows on New Year's Eve. Brittany teaches pharmacy at South College in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Mollish graduated from Eastern Kentucky University in 2009. He holds a Bachelor of Science in the field of environmental studies. His work is part of TVA’s Valley-wide initiative to build a stronger, more sustainable future. To learn more, check out the 2019 Sustainability Report.
In the State of Tennessee on the Forbes' list of America's Best Employers
Enterprise-Wide ERG Award by Association of ERGs & Councils
By the National Organization on Disability
In recorded injury rate
In serious injury rate
At TVA, we recognize now more than ever that inclusion and diversity are integral to our mission of serving the people of the Valley to make life better.
TVA values an inclusive culture, founded on respect and compassion for everyone. This year we focused on the TVA Mission of Service and heard directly from our employees on how this translates to making everyone feel a part of the TVA family
TVA achieved national recognition for the fifth consecutive year as a “Top 10 Employer” for its support of U.S. military veterans in the workforce. We are proud that veterans comprise nearly 20% of our workforce and each adds strength and value to the entire organization.
TVA was recognized as a 2020 Leading Disability Employer for the second consecutive year. TVA prides itself on creating an accessible and inclusive space for those with disabilities and prioritized that initiative by starting ABLED, the employee resource group for Awareness Benefitting Leadership and Employees about Disabilities in 2015
TVA’s employee resource groups received a 2020 Diversity Impact Award from the Association of ERGs & Councils. Since 2014, our ERGs have helped advance meaningful understanding of and actions on diversity with inclusion throughout the enterprise and the communities we serve.
TVA achieved recognition on the Forbes list of America’s Best Employers for 2020 – ranking as the No. 2 employer in the state of Tennessee.
Safety is one of TVA’s core values, and it’s an area where we ranked among the best in the industry in FY 2020 – top decile in recordable injuries and top decile in serious injuries. TVA’s focus on reducing serious injuries and strengthening line engagement have led to TVA’s strong safety performance in the last year.
Back in early 2020, Power Operations implemented the use of safety blitzes – a safety walkdown by employees from other sites – starting at Cumberland Fossil Plant in Tennessee. This effort proved so successful these visits are now conducted routinely during the first week of outages across the Power Operations fleet.
In Kentucky, TVA’s Shawnee Fossil Plant significantly improved worker safety by assembling a proactive learning team centered on improving how employees report near miss incidents, which helps trend the level of safety risk. In addition, our hydro fleet is piloting a new process at Kentucky Hydro Plant to improve safety communication between site personnel and contractors.
Our nuclear fleet has used observations to identify potential lack of Human Performance tool usage, which helps avoid potential serious safety events at our plants, such as Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant in Alabama.
In our gas fleet, including Ackerman Combined Cycle Plant in Mississippi, we’ve improved our safety suggestions process, which has contributed to excellent safety performance in Gas Operations with zero recordable injuries in FY 2020.
Operating across the TVA territory, our Transmission organization has focused on more detailed pre-job briefs to ensure employees understand the potential risks associated with their tasks. Generation Construction and Fleet Services has performed numerous assessments of our contract workforce and addressed problem areas, such as rigging plans, to improve overall safety performance with our contract partners.
TVA’s employees and contract partners are represented by 17 labor unions. Our partnerships with these unions go back more than 80 years and form the backbone of TVA and our ability to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley. This year, to ensure continued low-cost, reliable energy to residents across the Valley:
TVA and the Trades and Labor Council for Annual Employees announced a 10-year extension on their agreement.
TVA and North America’s Building Trades Unions announced a 10-year extension of their Project Labor Agreement.
In 2018, TVA and seven annual councils, along with the Teamsters Union, began our Code of Excellence partnership with a shared commitment to Safety, Professionalism, Accountability, Relationship and Quality.
Union-led labor management panel partnered to reduce grievances by more than 200% since 2018.
FY 2020 has seen the highest craft employee engagement rate in TVA recorded history.
We pride ourselves on the enrichment of our employees through programs and trainings offered throughout the year.
TVA invests in employees through training plans and performance improvement. Our approach to development consists of 70% on the job experience, 20% informal learning and 10% formal training.
TVA established the TVA Employee Relief Fund as a response to the pandemic and increased natural disasters in our region. To date, we have invested $36,000, which has assisted 12 employees whose lives were adversely affected by COVID-19 and tornadoes.
This Annual Report is intended to provide highlighted information of interest about TVA's business and operations during its fiscal year ended September 30, 2020. This Annual Report should be read in conjunction with TVA’s Form 10-K Annual Report for the year ended September 30, 2020. The Form 10-K provides additional financial, operational and descriptive information, including TVA’s financial statements. The Form 10-K also provides important information about various risks to which TVA is exposed in the course of its operations, which are important to consider before investing in any TVA securities. The 2020 TVA Annual Report and 2020 Form 10-K do not contain all information about TVA securities that is important for making investment decisions. Please refer to the appropriate Offering Circular, and any relevant supplements, for detailed information about TVA securities. TVA’s Form 10-K can be found at www.tva.com/investors.
We have included in this letter and 2020 Annual Report “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Exchange Act relating to our operations, results of operations and other matters that are based on our current expectations, estimates, assumptions and projections. Words such as “will,” “plan,” “believe” and similar expressions are used to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. Forward-looking statements are based upon assumptions as to future events that may not prove to be accurate. Actual outcomes and results may differ materially from what is expressed or forecast in these forward-looking statements. Risks, uncertainties and other factors that might cause such differences, some of which could be material, include, but are not limited to, the factors discussed in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q under the sections entitled “Risk Factors.” Our forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this letter and 2020 Annual Report or as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update them.