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Stoking the Engine of Industry

TVA’s large directly served customers—from steel mills to national research facilities to military installations—contribute jobs and stability to the Tennessee Valley. Here’s how TVA supports them.

Reliable power. Clean power. High-quality power. Large amounts of power. 24/7/365 power. Affordable power.

These are the prerequisites for TVA’s 56 large directly served clients, which run the gamut from aluminum mills and chemicals manufacturers to military installations and national research facilities. And on each front, TVA delivers.

Along with clean, high-quality, reliable power, TVA offers many other benefits to its 56 directly served customers, including customized carbon footprints and ongoing economic development incentives.

All of that matters to Thom Mason, director of the Oak Ridge National Laboratories in Oak Ridge, Tenn. “We are very fortunate being where we are in the TVA region being that we have both reliable and cost-effective power because it allows us to compete with our peers when new facilities are being sited,” he says. "Clean energy is part of our mission—it's something we care passionately about. As TVA trends toward cleaner power, that automatically translates into reduced emissions associated with our operations." He also praises TVA’s high power quality as being key to running sensitive scientific equipment at the lab around the clock.

Looking for the Wins

TVA has invested heavily in meeting and exceeding the power needs of its directly served clients, for one very good reason: “We have a very diverse set of customers that require very different types of needs—but all in all, they provide jobs for the Valley, which are important to each and every one of us,” says Gary Harris, vice president of Industrial Marketing and Services for TVA.

“We are always looking for a win-win with our industrial customers because they are the backbone not only of the Valley’s economy, but of the nation’s economy,” he says. “And keeping those people here is vital to our economic interest.”

Atwell Daves, Chlorate Production Superintendent for AkzoNobel Pulp and Performance Chemicals in Columbus, Miss., feels the benefit of TVA’s interest. “TVA cares about the economy of the Valley and the people of the Valley and keeping good jobs in the Valley—and they care about the long-term viability of our site in the Valley,” he explains. “That’s something I don’t think other power companies think about.”

Directly served clients rave, too, about the ways in which TVA goes above and beyond simply providing affordable, reliable, round-the-clock power.

Above and Beyond

One popular program is the customized carbon footprint, which reflects power actually used by an industrial customer.

“We’ve got very big sustainability goals inside Akzo Nobel; we actually ran at the top of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for three years,” says Daves. “TVA sat down with us and worked on a modeling program that would give us credit for shaping our load and helping to reduce TVA’s carbon footprint by shaping that load.”

“It’s one of our company’s tenets to be environmentally conscientious,” says Dan Hogan, production manager for Resolute Forest Products in Grenada, Miss. “The fact that we are using less on peak power means that there is less coal burned because of our impact, so they are giving us our representation of when our power is used and it’s impacted our carbon footprint.”

Also beloved by directly served clients is the Investment Credit program, which matches a percentage of qualifying Valley-based industrial capital investment with power bill credits over a period of five years.

“The Investment Credit is vital to the mill, and it’s breathed life and sustainability into Grenada,” says Hogan. “I love the fact that it’s looking long-term, down the road toward keeping this mill in business and keeping the 1,600 jobs that we affect and sustain here.”

Harris sees a brighter future resulting from TVA’s current work in the industrial marketing space. “Hopefully my children and grandchildren—and their children—will continue to reap the benefit of the decisions we are making today.”