Southeastern Utility Giant Throwing Its Weight Around
Southern Cities' Renewable Energy Push Could Be Stifled as Utility Locks Them Into Longer Contracts; The utility has only modest plans for emissions cuts over the next 20 years. Its shift to longer contracts would prevent customers in 7 states from leaving.
James Bruggers, December 16, 2019 (Inside Climate News)
“As cities in the South start exploring ways to expand renewable energy, some are running into an obstacle that could set those plans back decades…The Tennessee Valley Authority, a public utility owned by the federal government, serves a population of 10 million in seven southeastern states through a distribution network of local power companies. While it has a lower carbon footprint than many utilities right now, its plans envision only modest improvements over the next 20 years…[It has persuaded many of those power companies] to agree to 20-year contracts—a much longer timeframe than its past agreements…
Conspicuously absent from that list, however, are some of the largest local power companies in the TVA system, including those that serve Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville, Alabama. Together, the hold-outs account for nearly half of TVA's operating revenues…[Their] fear is that signing long-term deals now will limit their bargaining power over everything from electricity rates to significantly boosting renewable energy, which some customers are demanding…” click here for more