Oak Ridge National Lab exec appointed to TVA board

The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Jeff Smith, Executive Vice President for Operations for UT-Battelle and Deputy for Operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, to the TVA board of directors.

He was nominated September 21, 2017 by President Donald Trump. The confirmation will become official with the president’s signature and when he is sworn in by a federal judge.

Pictured: Jeff Smith

Smith along with James “Skip” Thompson, III; Kenneth Allen; and A.D. Frazier were among the four members confirmed to join the TVA board. They’ll be serving alongside current board members Richard Howorth, Virginia Lodge, Eric Satz and Ron Walter.

Smith delivered the following opening remarks before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works prior to his confirmation:

Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. My name is Jeffrey W. Smith and I am the Deputy for Operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. I am honored to have been nominated by President Trump to serve on the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors.

In 1999, I moved my family to East Tennessee to take on the role of Deputy for Operations at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The laboratory consumes significant amounts of power, and as the Chief Operating Officer, I know large amounts of reliable, low cost electricity is important to executing the important missions assigned by the Department of Energy to Oak Ridge. The laboratory often works with TVA to help recruit new business to the TVA region, and in my role as a senior executive I have participated in these recruitments and seen first-hand the strength of TVA as a driver of economic development. More personally, I own a home on Norris Lake, one of TVA’s reservoirs. As a result, I understand the complex dynamic between hydropower production, flood management, and recreational use of the water resources under TVA control. Based on my professional and personal experiences with TVA over the last 18 years, it is my belief that to successfully fulfill its mission to improve the quality of life for all who live and work in the Valley, TVA must provide clean, reliable, resilient, low-cost power to our homes and businesses, while protecting the waterways we enjoy, and the air we breathe.

ORNL has a longstanding relationship with the Tennessee Valley Authority, going all the way back to the 1940s and the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project needed a site with ample fresh water and access to tremendous amounts of power. Sixteen miles downstream from TVA’s Norris Damn a site was selected as the home of the secret city that would produce the nuclear materials that accelerated the end of World War II and helped win the Cold War. Simply put, without TVA there would be no Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

During my 18 years at ORNL, I have had the privilege to lead a $400 million modernization effort that has been instrumental in transforming ORNL into the Department of Energy’s largest open science laboratory. I oversee the day to day and operations of an organization with a $1.4 billion annual operating budget, we host approximately 5,000 researchers and associated workers on site, and maintain the infrastructure similar to a small city covering over 4,000 acres.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory operates one of two Department of Energy research reactors. Granted, the High Flux Isotope Reactor is roughly 1/10th the scale of today’s commercial power reactors such as those in the TVA fleet, but the responsibility for this reactor has taught me something about the importance of a strong nuclear safety culture.

I have also had the opportunity to be involved with TVA in several economic development recruitments in which the laboratory has partnered with the State of Tennessee, local municipalities, and TVA to attract new companies to the region. I can tell you that low cost, clean and reliable power is always a consideration in site selection. My personal experience tells me TVA is dedicated to working with local and state governments to encourage economic development and create jobs in the region and this is something that I will continue to support.

I have had a long standing relationship with Battelle Memorial Institute, a not-for-profit company that specializes in managing several R&D laboratories. I have served on the governing Boards for the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Idaho National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. As a result, I’ve been involved in the recruitment and selection of several laboratory directors and in the event there is a change in leadership at TVA during my appointment, I believe I can add something to this process.

I have interacted with TVA as an industrial user, as a partner in infrastructure expansion, and to promote economic development. These engagements have given me useful insight into the breadth and depth of TVA’s operations, and to its importance for our region. I believe my background and experience has prepared me for the challenge and responsibility of joining the TVA board.

If confirmed, I am committed to working with my fellow board members and TVA staff to ensure that TVA continues to fulfill its mission to serve the people of the Tennessee Valley. I appreciate your consideration of my nomination and thank you for the opportunity to be here today.

Listening Session with TVA’s Jay Stowe

Listening Session with TVA’s Jay Stowe, Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Resources

Friday, May 5, 2017
1:00 p.m. ET

Missionary Ridge Building
1101 Market Street
Chattanooga, Tennessee 37203

The agenda is as follows:

Michael Scalf, Senior Strategic Consultant, Enterprise Relations & Innovation, TVA

TAEBC & Advanced Energy Industry Overview
Cortney Piper, Vice President, TAEBC

Jay Stowe, Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Resources, TVA

Interactive Q&A Session
Facilitated by Cortney Piper

Closing Remarks
Michael Scalf, Senior Strategic Consultant, Enterprise Relations & Innovation, TVA

TAEBC’s first Energy Connect event a success; Thanks to sponsor Bradley

TAEBC kicked off its new summer event series with an Energy Connect networking opportunity in Nashville at the headquarters of event sponsor and member Bradley (formerly Bradley Arant Boult Cummings) in early May.

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 2.05.37 PM

Left to right: Energy Connect event sponsor Chris Bowles with Bradley; Speaker John Bradley with TVA; and TAEBC President and Charter member Silicon Ranch’s Matt Kisber.

More than 20 TAEBC members and Bradley invitees attended to hear a presentation on economic development from TVA’s John Bradley.

Energy Connect events are sponsored by members and for members. With a sponsorship, members choose their event type and TAEBC promotes and secures attendance.

TAEBC’s Energy Connect gives members the opportunity to network more times during the year, increase the visibility of their business, and share expertise and information.

Energy Connect events can include:

  • Factory or facility tour
  • Featured speaker for coffee, lunch or happy hour
  • “Lunch and learn” style information sharing lecture

Thank you Energy Connect sponsor Bradley.

Stay tuned for more information on upcoming events. For sponsorship info visit here. For up-to-date TAEBC events, check the calendar on the website.

Oak Ridge National Lab to Open Chattanooga Office

TAEBC Charter member, Oak Ridge National Laboratory announced during the Southeast Regional Innovation Energy Workshop held in Chattanooga earlier this week that they will soon open an office in downtown Chattanooga. TAEBC moderated a panel discussion during the workshop, which in addition to ORNL, was also sponsored by TAEBC Charter member, The University of Tennessee.

According to the Chattanooga Times Free Press, ORNL is readying an office at EPB, where researchers from the lab have been studying the city-owned utility’s pioneering smart grid and fiber optic system.

Logo_ORNLORNL Director Thom Mason told the Times Free Press the first staffers will be those already working with EPB on the smart grid. Mason said he hopes the initiative will grow over time.

Opening a Chattanooga office to help spread anCity-Seald commercialize innovations from ORNL is part of a natural extension of the Oak Ridge facilities, Mason said.

“We are proud of our past and the ‘secret city’ that was built in Oak Ridge during World War II, but today, the Oak Ridge lab is primarily an open science and energy lab,” he said. “The work that we do only achieves its full potential when it turns into technology that gets deployed and [is] in products that people buy and services that are sold.”

The lab does the research, but does not bring the fruits of its discoveries to the marketplace. That’s what backers of the outreach office hope Chattanooga businesses will do.

Oak Ridge also has a major weapons production facility operated by the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is building a $6.5 billion uranium processing facility to replace its aging Y-12 weapons complex. Forty-two Chattanooga businesses have bid for work on the uranium processing facility, which will be the largest construction project ever in Tennessee.

Chattanooga will soon be involved in a $2.4 million initiative by EPB to build solar installations in Sale Creek and near downtown as part of a TVA pilot program. Over the past two years, ORNL researchers studying EPB’s smart grid have worked to develop ways to analyze and use all of the extra information and data collected by the system. EPB uses technology called Intelliruptors to detect problems earlier, restore power more quickly when problems develop and allow for better planning and load management.

Mason said that, as a laboratory, “We’re used to experiments, and this new office is a bit of an experiment in itself” in expanding the reach of DOE’s scientific studies.

“Given the collaboration we already have with EPB involving their smart grid, this seems like a natural place to start in Chattanooga,” Mason said.

“We’re doing a lot of work on additive manufacturing and 3-D printing which there is obvious interest in by a number of businesses in Chattanooga. For the SIM Center at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, modular computing and simulation is a signature strength of Oak Ridge (with the world’s second-fastest computer). There are a number of areas of possibilities, so what we want to start with is having a liaison to better connect Chattanooga to our lab and all we have to offer.”

Congratulations to ORNL. TAEBC looks forward to supporting our Charter member’s continued expansion throughout Tennessee.

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press


TAEBC Introduces Energy Connect Summer Series: Networking Opportunities Hosted by Members, for Members

The summer is heating up to be an energizing time for TAEBC with the launch of the new Energy Connect Summer Series in May. Hosted by members for members, Energy Connect provides networking opportunities to introduce new products and services and talk about timely topics.

Upcoming sessions will feature events sponsored by TAEBC members, Genera Energy, PHG Energy and Silicon Ranch. Watch your email and the TAEBC website event calendar for updates and more information.

BABC_LogoOn May 17, TAEBC member, Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, hosts the first Energy Connect session in Nashville, at 1600 Division Street, #700, from 4:30-5:30 pm CT, featuring TVA’s Senior VP of Economic Development, John Bradley.

Bradley will talk about “Economic Development Trends in the Tennessee Valley.” Economic development initiatives create jobs and capital investment. Bradley will discuss the latest on TVA’s programs and give members insight into how TVA is helping to retain and recruit advanced energy companies and manufacturers to the state.

John BradleyAt TVA, Bradley has implemented a broad range of new initiatives including a targeted industrial recruitment program and increased support for community development and existing companies. He is a veteran economic development professional with more than 30 years’ experience. He came to TVA in 2002, and since that time has spearheaded the Megasites Certification Program; Valley Investment Initiative; The Data Center Sites Identification Initiative; TVA’s Rural Development Strategy and TVA’s Product Development Initiative.

Bradley’s leadership led to TVA being named one of the top utilities for economic development. Personally, Bradley was twice named one of the Top 10 Who Made a Difference in Economic Development by Southern Business & Development magazine. He serves as a member of Tennessee’s Rural Development Task Force.

The Energy Connect Summer Series at BABC will conclude with networking, featuring appetizers and happy hour beverages.

To register or for more information, here.