Groups question the validity of planning process; concerned about contradictory statements and lack of transparency from TVA
Contact: Jennifer Rennicks, SACE, 865-235-1448, Jennifer@cleanenergy.org
Tonight, Monday March 5th, the Tennessee Valley Authority will host an open house as TVA starts another long-term resource planning process, known as an Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). But the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) and NAACP are questioning the validity of the IRP process.
TVA is already moving forward on several new policies that would hobble development of clean energy resources such as energy efficiency and solar, before even beginning the scoping process for the IRP. TVA has privately been meeting with industrial customers and discussing increasing fixed, mandatory fees for residential customers, while continuing to reduce rates for large industrial customers. Although TVA publicly states that it will use the new IRP as a tool for developing more distributed energy resources like solar, leaked documents show TVA contradicting itself by calling those resources a threat to its business model (documentation available upon request). Before putting pen to paper in the IRP process, TVA is moving forward with rate designs such as fixed charges to actively undercut distributed clean energy resources.
“TVA’s planning process matters because far too many citizens, in particular citizens of color, in cities and rural areas across Tennessee, are having to choose between paying utility bills rather than acquiring necessary food and medicines,” said Sandra Upchurch, Chair of the Memphis NAACP Energy & Environmental Justice Committee. “TVA should be encouraging more energy efficiency and clean energy use, not discouraging it by imposing unnecessary fees on their customers and making it even harder for people across the Valley to make ends meet.”
“Making rate changes to undercut certain energy choices, and then starting a planning process that is supposed to fairly compare energy choices side by side, is backwards and disingenuous,” said Angela Garrone, Energy Research Attorney for the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. “Without a fair planning process, TVA may miss out on the true lowest-cost energy source, leaving customers on a budget in a lurch.”
Organization representatives will be available for comment at the Open House, held tonight, March 5, at 5:30 PM in the Memphis Gas, Light, and Water Auditorium, 220 S. Main Street., Memphis, TN.
About Southern Alliance for Clean Energy
Founded in 1985, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy is a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible energy choices that work to address the impacts of global climate change and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. Learn more at www.cleanenergy.org.