Ritch To Continue As Board Chair
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors re-elected Joe Ritch from Huntsville, Ala., as chair during its meeting on Thursday. Ritch joined the board in 2013 and was elected to his first term as chair in 2014.
The board also approved pole attachment regulation cost methodology and delegated to the CEO the details of implementing the regulation. The regulation has become necessary as more outside companies offering cable, broadband and other services seek to attach their wires to the power poles owned by local utilities. In its role as the exclusive retail rate regulator for the Tennessee Valley, TVA sets the rates local power companies charge to ensure the systems are operated for the benefit of consumers and power rates are kept as low as feasible.
TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson highlighted first quarter financial and operational performance noting TVA experienced the warmest December and the warmest first quarter on record. As a result, power sales were down and TVA realized a small net loss. Through continuous improvement and cost reduction efforts, TVA is able to maintain a healthy financial and operational position, despite these type of revenue losses, Johnson told the board.
Johnson also recognized the dedication and work ethic of employees at the Colbert Fossil Plant in Northern Alabama. Colbert will be closing in April after 61 years of operations due to the economics of continuing to operate the plant as well as stricter environmental regulations.
TVA’s Engineer of the Year was also announced at the board meeting. Robert Frye, a principal engineer for the transmission system, was presented with the Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year award. He designed a digital relay replacement that costs about 80 percent less than the ones currently used and could save TVA more than $22 million. Frye is also one of 10 finalists for the Federal Engineer of the Year.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving more than 9 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.