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Memphis might be moving on from the Tennessee Valley Authority

The Memphis Light, Gas, and Water Board will decide on if they will continue to explore the idea of buying electricity elsewhere.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — This is big.

As an old News Director of mine use to say, this is big, big, big.

This is the week the Memphis Light, Gas and Water Board will decide whether to continue to explore buying electricity from someone other than TVA.

For more than two years, various committees have discussed whether switching to a new power provider could save MLGW hundreds of millions of dollars.

That would mean power bills would go down...a very big deal in a city where poverty often forces people to decide between paying for power and paying for food. “We need to look at rates,” says Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland, “...and the cost of transmitting power. Obviously with TVA, we know what their rates are. Now, we’ve got to figure out how much a competitors rates are, and figure out how much it would cost to transmit that power to Memphis.”

You will soon be hearing three letters mentioned a lot. R-F-P. It means "request for proposals." If the MLGW Board and City Council decide to move forward...the next step will be getting an R-F-P from companies interested in selling power to the people...through MLGW. And things are going to move a little faster says Mayor Strickland.

“We’re going to find out what direction and how quickly the MLGW Board wants to move with this,” the Mayor says. “I can tell you one thing...our city council wants is to move very quickly on this. So hopefully, the MLGW Board will also.”

The MLGW Board is expected to meet Wednesday morning...not in person...but through a computer. 

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