Tornadoes blow up rates for TVA users by 4.5 percent

Tornadoes blow up rates for TVA users by 4.5 percent

June 13th, 2011 in Local - Breaking News

TVA Offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee

The typical homeowner in the Tennessee Valley will pay an extra $3 to $6 on next month's electricity bill to cover the costs of storm-related problems in April and May by TVA.

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced today that electric rates in July will rise 4.5 percent from an increase in the monthly fuel cost adjustment due to springtime storms.

TVA, the nation's biggest government utility, had to buy more expensive replacement power for nearly a month after tornados in Alabama knocked off power connections to TVA's biggest nuclear plant, the three-reactor Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant. TVA passes along the higher expense of fuel each month under its fuel cost adjustment formula.

"The loss of power from Browns Ferry alone cost about $90 million to replace that generation with more expensive power and that is what is reflected in this change in our fuel cost adjustment," TVA spokesman Scott Brooks said.

The repair of broken transmission poles and towers will be financed over time through TVA's capital budget. But without power service, TVA lost the generation of more than 3,000 megawatts of power on April 27 when tornados damaged most of the transmission lines to and from Browns Ferry.

Despite the adverse weather, heavier-than-normal rains this spring did boost TVA's hydroelectricity generation, which mitigated some of the fuel cost increases, Brooks said.

Read more in tomorrow's Times Free Press