TVA quarterly loss widens to $245 million

TVA quarterly loss widens to $245 million

February 5th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

TVA's Bill Johnson

TVA's Bill Johnson

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

The Tennessee Valley Authority lost $245 million in the final three months of 2012 as industrial power sales slowed and nuclear plant outages pushed up operating expenses.

In its quarterly earning report filed today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, TVA reported that revenues in the past quarter were flat at just over $2.5 billion.

Despite a 2.1 percent increase in the dollar value of power sales to the municipalities and cooperatives that deliver most commercial and residential power, sales to major industries served directly by TVA fell by 12.3 percent in the quarter.

The net loss in the first quarter of TVA's fiscal year was wider than the $173 million loss in the same period a year ago.

Last year, losses during the fall and winter quarters spurred TVA to implement a "diet and exercise" program that cut staff to pare utility expenses.

But in a statement today, TVA CEO Bill Johnson said operating revenues "remain on plan.

"We continue to drive performance and process improvements in order to provide cleaner and low-cost energy to our customers," Johnson said.

TVA said the increase in operating and maintenance expenses last fall was due, in large part, to three nuclear refueling outages in the period. Earlier this month, TVA completed a $376 steam generator replacement program at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Soddy-Daisy on time and under budget. Nuclear power generation was down 28 percent in the quarter due to the refueling schedule.

In a statement this morning, TVA Chief Financial Officer John Thomas said he thought results would improve in the rest of the year.

"We are seeing reduced base rates during transition months and winter months, and expect to see higher revenues during the summer months," Thomas said. "However, cost-savings actions we took last year have positioned TVA to remain financially healthy throughout the year."