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TVA Employees Win EPRI Recognition for Innovation

Mar 5, 2020

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Thursday that eight employees received prestigious Technology Transfer Awards from the Electric Power Research Institute for their achievements in collaborative research and development projects.

EPRI’s annual Technology Transfer Awards recognize industry leaders and innovators who help companies transform research into results and solutions that can improve the efficiency of power plants, protect transmission and distribution equipment, improve cybersecurity, and enhance end-use electrification – all for the end-benefit of utility customers.

Joe Hoagland, vice president, Innovation & Research, said TVA employees continuously apply science and technology to create innovative solutions. “Innovation is fundamental to TVA’s mission of service to the region. To that end, our employees use technologies and explore ideas that help make life better for the people of the Valley and enhance the whole of the utility industry.”

The following TVA employees were recognized by EPRI with Technology Transfer Awards:

  • Bonnie Latta and Jason Snyder worked with TVA’s energy efficiency program team and EPRI to study 27 electrification technologies across the seven-state TVA region and seven industrial sites. As a result of the collaboration, TVA has identified significant potential for de-carbonization and efficiency, and expects to identify more.
  • Tony Murphy had a key role in TVA’s work with EPRI to develop and demonstrate advanced tools for monitoring and analyzing power quality. TVA performed well against key reliability metrics in the Open PQ Dashboard software that displays status and location of power anomalies throughout the electrical system and increased the efficiency of processes used to manage power quality.
  • Jason Barrick, Todd Bell and Houston McConnell led the demonstration of an inspection technique developed by EPRI that quantifies the possible risk of failure in some gas turbines. Four utilities – Luminant, TVA, Duke Energy, and Great River Energy – demonstrated the technique in some of their gas turbines. Identifying potential risk of failure helps operators avoid significant costs for equipment replacement that can be $2 million to $5 million per event.
  • Nick McClung was recognized for work on the geotechnical stability of coal ash ponds during and after closure. With his leadership, a geotechnical centrifuge was used for the first time to simulate the release of ash after a pond failure. He also did pioneering work on pond stability.
  • Karen Utt was recognized for integrating the technical analyses of climate-related science into climate risk assessment, planning, goal setting and outreach by utilities. Her vision and leadership led to a foundation of technical knowledge companies can use as they make decisions and talk with stakeholders about climate risk assessment and goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The 2019 Technology Transfer Award recipients lead by example, elevating the societal value of EPRI’s collaborative R&D by deploying advanced energy technologies across the power industry,” said EPRI President Arshad Mansoor. “Their contributions are essential to transforming electricity generation, delivery and use for the benefit of energy customers around the world.”

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.

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to nearly 40 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, NC; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.


Malinda Hunter
Public Relations
[email protected]

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