MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Environmental groups are suing the Tennessee Valley Authority over long-term partnership agreements signed by local power companies that receive electricity generated by the nation's largest public utility.
A lawsuit filed in Memphis federal court Monday claims the 20-year deals signed by more than 130 companies lock the power distributors into exclusive, "never-ending" contracts with the TVA and "will forever deprive distributors and ratepayers the opportunity to renegotiate with TVA to obtain cheaper, cleaner electricity."
Protect Our Aquifer, Energy Alabama and Appalachian Voices also allege the deals hurt the ability of local power companies to use renewable power from outside the TVA.
TVA sent the following statement to Local 24 News:
"TVA’s long-term partnership proposal was developed at the request of our local power company partners. It is a completely voluntary agreement that provides both an annual 3.1% credit on wholesale power rates, as well as the flexibility to self-generate a portion of their own power, primarily through renewable energy.
Since being introduced late last year, 141 of 153 local power companies have chosen to participate. Prior to the current long-term partnership agreements, several local power companies already had 20-year agreements with TVA and all had rolling terms.
It would be inappropriate for us to comment further on the specific allegations in the lawsuit since we have not yet been served with it."