Coronavirus: TVA's Commitment

Message from Jeff Lyash, TVA President & CEO

Our world is challenged with an issue of wide-ranging scale and human impact. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak. At TVA, there is no higher priority than the health and well-being of our employees and the welfare of the nearly 10 million people we serve.

We understand the important role TVA plays in the safety, comfort and convenience of everyone in our service area. We plan and prepare for scenarios like this. Over the past several weeks, we have been making informed decisions to ensure we can protect our employees and minimize any impacts on the vital services we provide. 

I have never been prouder of how our team members have stepped up to their commitment to our unique and compelling mission. Through their hard work and coordination with our public power partners in local power companies, we are confident we can maintain a reliable flow of electricity to homes and businesses across the Tennessee Valley through this difficult time.

I urge everyone to remain vigilant and continue to take the necessary preventative steps recommended by health agencies to keep you and your family safe. Together, we will get through this challenge, as we have so many in the past. 

Jeff Lyash
President & CEO


What is NOT Impacted

  • Reliable electricity
  • River management, flood control and navigation
  • Select special project work, including the Boone Dam repair and projects with regulatory deadlines
  • Access to TVA trails, lakes, boat ramps and undeveloped lands

What is Impacted

  • Certain day-use recreation areas are closed until further notice
    • Chickamauga Dam
    • Rockpile Area near Wilson Dam
    • Laurel Point Area at Raccoon Mountain (bike trails remain open)
  • All public restrooms, beaches and large group pavilions at TVA recreation areas are closed until further notice, as well as TVA visitor centers
  • TVA campgrounds at Cherokee, Douglas, Melton Hill, Pickwick and Watauga dams will not open as planned
  • TVA facilities placed on minimum staffing due to localized heavy COVID-19 outbreaks
    • Gallatin Fossil and Combustion Turbine plants
    • Allen Combined Cycle plant
    • Southaven Combined Cycle plant
  • TVA employees in support and administration functions are working remotely, and travel is restricted

TVA Launches Initiative to Strengthen Public Power COVID-19 Response

March 26, 2020

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday an initiative to support increased flexibility for local power companies who are responding to urgent community and customer needs during the ongoing response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

TVA will make up to a total of $1 billion of credit support available as an option to local power companies through the deferral of wholesale power payments based on the needs of individual local power companies.

“The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the communities we serve is unprecedented and creates a degree of economic uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash.

“We recognize that we have a responsibility to leverage TVA’s resources and expertise to provide local power companies the stability and flexibility to address the unique challenges faced by their customers.”

Detailed plans will be customized for each participating local power company based on individual needs and financial impacts. A portion of the local power company’s monthly TVA wholesale power payments would be deferred for a period during the ongoing COVID-19 response and an appropriate repayment plan will be put in place.

The new initiative builds on actions TVA has already taken to provide regulatory flexibility to allow local power companies to halt disconnection of electric service and respond quickly to their customers’ immediate needs.

“The strength of public power is a passionate commitment to serve people over balance sheets,” said Lyash. “This is perhaps more critical today than it has ever been.”

“Just as they have through February flooding and March storm recovery, our TVA team remains committed to working with all 154 of our local power company partners to benefit the communities and customers we jointly serve, especially during these challenging times.” 

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.


TVA Closes Select Recreation Areas While Maintaining Access to Public Lands, Waters

March 20, 2020

The Tennessee Valley Authority is closing its day-use recreation area at Chickamauga Dam near Chattanooga and the Rockpile Recreation Area at Wilson Dam at Muscle Shoals as part of its continuing efforts to protect public health during the current COVID-19 outbreak. The closures will begin during the day on Friday, March 20.

In addition, public restroom facilities, beaches and group pavilions at all of TVA’s recreation areas will be closed until further notice. Visitors are asked not to bypass gates or close fences to access closed areas.

These decisions are intended to support Centers for Disease Control recommendations to limit the size of public gatherings to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

All TVA boat ramps remain open, as well as more than 200,000 acres of undeveloped public lands and trails.

TVA will continue to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 outbreak and will take additional steps as needed to help protect public health and safety.


TVA Maintains Focus on Providing Reliable Critical Services

March 16, 2020

As part of its continuing response to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Tennessee Valley Authority employees working in certain support and administrative functions will begin using telework processes beginning on Wednesday, March 18.

Specific decisions on telework are being made by individual working group leaders. TVA’s office complexes remain open and all power generation, transmission and river operation facilities remain appropriately staffed, although visitors continue to be restricted.

This latest action is a continuation of a phased response plan designed to increase social distancing to protect employee health while maintaining a focus on reliably providing vital services to nearly 10 million people across the Valley.

Like all utilities, TVA maintains detailed plans preparing for situations, whether natural or man-made, that may challenge its ability to fulfill its mission. The plans prioritize making informed decisions that protect employees and the public while minimizing any impacts on operations.

Previously, TVA had announced the closure of visitor centers and postponed the opening of managed campgrounds near Cherokee, Douglas, Melton Hill and Watauga dams. International and non-mission critical domestic business travel for TVA employees has been restricted, as has non-critical meetings of more than 10 people. Public meetings and outreach activities led or supported by TVA personnel have been postponed for at least the next 30 days.

TVA leaders continue to monitor the evolving outbreak, as well as coordinate with federal agencies and local power companies, and are prepared to take additional actions, as needed, to ensure the health and safety of the employees and the public.


TVA Facility Impacts Due to Coronovirus Outbreak

March 13, 2020

As part of its ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak, TVA is closing its Raccoon Mountain visitor center and delaying the opening of additional visitor centers and the five campgrounds it operates near its hydroelectric dams. In addition, visitor access to all TVA office facilities is being restricted.

Staffed visitor centers at Fontana, Norris and Kentucky dams that were originally scheduled to open on Saturday, April 4, will be delayed until the current outbreak has abated.  Unstaffed visitor centers will remain open along with more than 200,000 acres of TVA’s managed public land.

TVA’s campgrounds at Douglas Dam headwater and tailwater, Cherokee Dam, Melton Hill Dam and Watauga Dam originally scheduled to open on Sunday, March 15, will delay their opening dates by at least 30 days.

In addition, TVA offices and service centers located across its service area are restricting visitor access. Members of the public requiring assistance with TVA’s environmental stewardship activities, including 26a permits and land use permits, should contact the TVA Public Lands Information Center at 800-882-5263 or by e-mail at plic@tva.gov.

We regret the inconvenience caused by these necessary decisions to protect employees and the volunteers who staff our facilities.


Frequently Asked Questions

March 23, 2020

Reliable Energy

Q. What is TVA doing during the pandemic?
A. Our priority is protecting employee and public health as we continue to provide reliable energy and other critical services to the region. We have implemented and are following our agency response plan and staying in touch with the CDC, other federal and state agencies, and local power companies and communities to ensure coordination.

Q. Will my power stay on during this period?
A. Yes, TVA employees are working hard to keep energy flowing to the region around the clock. Employees in some jobs are teleworking and others are onsite at locations across the Tennessee Valley to supply energy and manage the Tennessee River system. We have plans in place to ensure those vital missions continue.

Q. Will my power get turned off if I’m unable to pay my bill?
A. In our role as regulator, TVA is working with all 154 local power companies who provide electric power to nearly 10 million people across seven states. We are offering support and flexibility to ensure they are in the best position possible to address local conditions and the concerns of their members and customers. Please reach out directly to your local power company to determine what programs are available that may provide assistance during this difficult time.

Q. Will my bill go up because I’m home all day?
A. The cost of power isn’t changing because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The biggest factor in your energy bill is how much energy you use, and being home more could change your energy use. Raising your thermostat by as little as one or two degrees in warm weather (and lowering it by one or two degrees in the winter) will help keep your bill lower than it would be otherwise. TVA power rates are among the lowest in the nation, and we encourage people to make their homes and businesses as energy efficient as they can, so their bills aren’t higher than necessary. TVA and many local power companies offer programs to help consumers use energy wisely. See www.energyright.com for information and energy-saving tips.

Recreation

Q. Can I still go out on TVA public land?

A. TVA trails, lakes, boat ramps and undeveloped lands remain open to the public. We encourage people to make sure they are practicing safe social distancing and to follow all CDC guidelines for social distancing.

Some public areas and facilities are closed as part of the continuing efforts to support social distancing and protect public health:

  • The day-use recreation areas at Chickamauga Dam near Chattanooga, the Rockpile Recreation Area at Wilson Dam at Muscle Shoals and the Laurel Point at Raccoon Mountain
  • Public restroom facilities, beaches and group pavilions at all of TVA’s recreation areas
  • TVA campgrounds at Cherokee, Douglas, Melton Hill, Pickwick and Watauga dams
  • TVA visitor centers

Health & Safety

Q. Did TVA have a plan for this type of event?
A. Like all utilities, TVA has extensive plans in place for dealing with any type of event that could interfere with our mission of service. That does include infectious diseases, like COVID-19. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve been carefully monitoring how the COVID-19 outbreak has been developing and adjusting our plans to be ready for this specific issue. We will continue to adapt our plans to be ready for whatever the future may bring us.

Q. What is TVA doing to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
A. Our overriding priority is the health and safety of our employees and the public. We remain focused on efforts to help slow the spread of disease and prevent major impacts to the vital services we provide. We are following CDC recommendations and working to be consistent with local health organization requirements in localized high outbreak areas.

As part of our company-wide response plan, we are taking a number of actions. These include increased cleaning of common areas, restricting travel to mission-critical functions, recommending against personal travel to some areas, imposing a 14-day quarantine on employees returning from travel to affected areas, allowing telework where feasible, limiting meetings to 10 or fewer employees, reducing the numbers of employees on some projects, and encouraging social distancing.

We have also closed some public areas and facilities in our recreation areas to help slow the spread of the virus.

Q. Are TVA employees still traveling around the Valley?
A. All TVA travel is restricted to critical business functions only, and we recommend that employees avoid unnecessary personal travel. Employees traveling to heavily affected areas have a 14-day self-quarantine period upon return. We encourage our employees to use phone or video conferencing to meet instead of traveling.

Q. Will any of these practices change if the spread of COVID-19 increases?
A. We are closely following COVID-19 levels, and we will continue to follow the guidance from the CDC and take actions in line with CDC guidelines and our company-wide response plan. This includes necessary precautions to keep our employees and the public safe. Throughout this situation, you have our commitment that we will do everything we can to continue supplying reliable, low-cost energy for the nearly 10 million people we serve, while protecting employee and public health and safety.

Suppliers and Contractors

Q. Will there be a delay if I have a scheduled delivery to make to TVA? Any special requirements for suppliers or contractors?
A. Please see the TVA Coronavirus Update on our Supplier Connection web page for the latest information about Coronavirus impact on suppliers and contractors. If you have a specific question about your particular contract, please contact your TVA contract manager.

Boone Dam Project

Q. Is work on the Boone Dam Project continuing?
A. Yes, our project work is continuing at Boone Dam. The safety of our workers and the public continue to be our top priorities. We are keeping workers safe by maintaining social distancing, deep cleaning and practicing good hygiene. Those workers not directly involved in construction are teleworking. As of March 20, 2020, 91 of the 307 pilings that will form the underground cutoff wall are complete. Another 62 pilings are under construction.

General

Q. Will TVA still be conducting public comment periods on various issues?
A. Yes, we will continue to use the NEPA process while making decisions, and we count on public input. Draft and Final Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements will continue to be posted on our website https://www.tva.gov/Environment/Environmental-Stewardship/Environmental-Reviews. Our public comment process will remain in place as well. We encourage your engagement in this process and appreciate your input. If you have questions about our process, each document on the website includes our contact information.

Q. What are the symptoms associated with COVID-19?
A. Common signs of infection are a combination of fever, dry cough and shortness of breath, according to the CDC. To learn more and stay current with the latest COVID-19 guidance, visit one of these special websites developed by the federal government:

Q. What precautions are recommended to prevent the spread of COVID-19?
A. Recommendations in the CDC guidelines include social distancing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, hand hygiene, routine cleaning of surfaces, and avoiding exposure to those who are ill. To learn more and stay current with the latest COVID-19 guidance, visit one of these special websites developed by the federal government:

Frequently Asked Questions

Reliable Energy Questions

Recreation Questions

Health and Safety Questions

Suppliers and Contractor Questions

Boone Dam Questions

General Questions

How TVA’s Helping

The current Coronavirus outbreak asks the best of us—that we do what we can to make life better in the Tennessee Valley even under these difficult conditions. We’re going above and beyond our commitment to keep the lights on, Here’s how.

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established a landing page on CDC.gov with the latest information from the CDC and the overarching medical community on COVID-19. The page provides information on how COVID-19 spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, stigma, what to do if you are sick and frequently asked questions. See https://www.coronavirus.gov.

What the U.S. Government is Doing

https://www.coronavirus.gov/

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/

https://www.usa.gov/coronavirus

https://www.usa.gov/espanol/coronavirus (Spanish)