The Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council hosted a lunch and learn on Monday, July 15 with TVA board member Jeff Smith and TVA’s newest CEO and President Jeff Lyash to provide an overview of TAEBC’s efforts in supporting TVA in becoming the energy company of the future.

During the meeting, Matt Murray, Director of the Howard Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and lead author of TAEBC’s 2018 Economic Impact report also presented the latest findings in Tennessee’s advanced energy economy revealing the sector employs nearly 360,000 Tennesseans, contributes nearly $40B in state GDP, and includes more than 18,000 businesses thus reinforcing its critical role in Tennessee’s economy.

Smith shared his visions and priorities for TVA and the roles advanced energy plays, commenting that Lyash’s experience in recognizing the significance of nuclear in distribution portfolios was a major factor in the board’s decision in selecting Lyash as the new CEO & President, as well as Lyash’s background in embracing innovation while working with Ontario Power Generation Inc.

Lyash shared with TAEBC members that July 15 marked his 100th day serving as TVA’s leader and touched on the 2019 Final IRP, which was recently released.

In the 2019 Final IRP, TVA indicated:

  • There is a need for new capacity in all scenarios to replace expiring or retiring capacity.
  • Solar expansion plays a substantial role in all futures.
  • Gas, storage and demand response additions provide reliability and/or flexibility.
  • No baseload resources (designed to operate around the clock) are added, highlighting the need for operational flexibility in the resource portfolio.
  • Additional coal retirements occur in certain futures.
  • Energy efficiency (EE) levels depend on market depth and cost-competitiveness.
  • Wind could play a role if it becomes cost-competitive.
  • In all cases, TVA will continue to provide for economic growth in the Tennessee Valley.

TVA’s Board of Directors will discuss and consider the IRP recommendation during its August meeting. Following board approval, a Record of Decision will be published.

TAEBC thanks both Jeff Smith and Jeff Lyash for offering their time with us to review the significant role advanced energy plays to Tennessee’s economy.