TVA says MLGW electric bills could rise 20% if utility switches to new supplier

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TVA president and CEO Jeffrey Lyash (C.B. Schmelter/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The TVA says MLGW electric bills could rise by more than 20% if the Memphis utility drops TVA as its supplier.

The agency’s response comes a few weeks after MLGW released a study that said essentially the opposite, claiming it could save millions of dollars by switching to a different provider.

According to the Integrated Resource Plan released May 29, MLGW projects savings of $90 to $122 million per year over 20 years from exiting TVA and joining with power supplier Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO).

But TVA says that, rather than saving money, switching suppliers would actually cost MLGW an added $261 million annually and cost $8 billion to build new infrastructure. They say MLGW’s study is flawed, overstating TVA rates and carbon emissions.

TVA, which has supplied power to MLGW for more than 80 years, says it provides retail rates that are lower than 70 percent of the nation and has invested $72 million in Memphis-area infrastructure.

The company’s supply is nearly 55% carbon-free, and has more renewable energy than MISO or any Southeastern U.S. utility, TVA said.

MLGW President JT Young said last month that he anticipated the utility would make a decision on staying or leaving in July or August.

TVA representatives will appear on WREG’s Live At 9 program at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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