GATLINBURG – The Tennessee Valley Authority board of directors elected Richard Howorth of Oxford, Mississippi, as chair-elect during its meeting Thursday. Howorth is in his second term on the TVA board and will assume the chair duties May 19, 2017, for the next two years. Director Lynn Evans will continue as chair until her board term expires on May 18, 2017.
“Richard has served TVA and the Tennessee Valley honorably for many years,” Evans said. “Our board will be seeing up to five new members in the next year, and Richard’s selection will help ensure continuity as new board members get acclimated to their policy role and learn more about the mission and work of TVA.”
Director Howorth joined the board in 2011 and began his second term in December, 2015. His current term will expire May 18, 2020. During his time on the TVA Board, Howorth has served on all five board committees – External Relations, People and Performance, Nuclear Oversight, Finance, Rates and Portfolio and Audit, Risk and Regulation.
The board members also made one change to the current committee assignments by adding Director Marilyn Brown to the Finance Committee.
In other business, the board renewed the charter for TVA’s Regional Energy Resource Council. The board created the council four years ago to advise on energy resources and give voice to diverse perspectives on energy issues. Most recently, the council was involved in the development of TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan that provides a roadmap for the region’s energy future.
TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson highlighted first quarter financial and operational performance, noting that TVA has reduced O&M costs by a sustainable $800 million and power rates are lower, year over year.
“In the first quarter of 2017, with winter temperatures that were closer to normal, electricity sales and revenues were up, compared with the same quarter last year,” Johnson said. “We are investing in the power system while managing debt, to ensure TVA continues to supply reliable, safe, low-cost and clean energy to the region.”
Johnson also recognized the dedication and work ethic of employees at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Paradise, Kentucky. Paradise will be retiring two older coal units later this year. “These units began operating in 1963 and have served the region well for more than half a century,” Johnson said. “This has been a difficult but necessary decision based on economics. I appreciate the employees at Paradise, their record of dedicated service to TVA and their commitment to working safely as we plan for the retirement of the two units.” A third coal unit will continue to operate along with a new combined-cycle natural gas plant on the Paradise site. The gas plant is expected to begin operations this month.
TVA’s Engineer of the Year was announced at the board meeting. Theo Laughner is a senior program manager in TVA’s Transmission and Power Supply organization. He manages the largest system in the nation for monitoring power quality. Laughner conceptualized and helped develop a system that limits the impact system disturbances have on industrial customers. This has helped TVA’s industrial customers improve their productivity, saving them an estimated $10 million a year.