Not a training ground

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  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Not a training ground

    I really missed the mark in my February column. While writing in early January that “little evidence is left of the record cold weather,” I had no doubt that winter’s cold wouldn’t last much longer. No one anticipated the Tennessee Valley Authority would set five of its top 10 record peak demands in the first few weeks of the year. Unfortunately, I was half-right: High bills continue to strain budgets throughout the region. On those five coldest days, TVA and the local power companies generated and delivered 3,399 gigawatt-hours. Without delving into the math again (see inset), that’s enough energy to […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Polar Opposites

    By David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager The ice has melted, and burst water lines are repaired. Little evidence is left of the record cold weather — other than high heating bills. As painful as the financial impact is, the alternative could have been much more uncomfortable. The extreme temperatures pushed the Tennessee Valley Authority to a new record demand as we all tried to stay warm. With heating systems running nonstop, lines and substations were pushed to their limits. In a few instances, the strain caused temporary outages. Occasionally, experts make harsh assessments about the condition of […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    The Power of Potential

    By David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager When you ask boxing historians to rank the hardest punchers of all time, Rocky Marciano is usually near the top. One reason: the power in his right hand. A contemporary said getting hit by Marciano was like being hit by a truck. In his 1952 title fight with Jersey Joe Walcott, Marciano was knocked down in the first round and was behind in the scoring after several rounds. Yet in the 13th round, he knocked out the titleholder with “a right cross that traveled only 6 inches.” Until the 13th round, […]

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    Watching wind grow

    Wind energy development in the United States is rushing past recent growth records. For example, 6,819 megawatts of generating capacity were installed in 2011; in 2012, that figure jumped to more than 13,000 MW, according to the American Wind Energy Association. In total, the U.S. has more than 60,000 MW of installed wind power capacity. Since 1 MW powers 750 to 1,000 average homes, more than 45 million American residences could be powered by wind. I say “could be” because wind doesn’t blow constantly. In fact, in our part of the country, there are very few places where the wind blows consistently enough […]

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    Warm weather brings out more than flowers

    Late spring/early summer is absolutely one of the most beautiful times to live in Tennessee. The mild temperatures and brilliant blue skies just call out for a little extra time listening to the birds from the backyard hammock. In my case, it’s listening to the kids play, but undoubtedly this is a time of year to get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty. As one of my favorite musicians sings, “Life’s way too short to waste it all inside.” The great weather this time of year does more than just inspire us to spend more time outdoors, though. As winter fades […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Federally Owned – Ratepayer Built

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association When you’re immortalized in song, you can reasonably assume that you’ve made it. When a government agency is immortalized in song, well, that’s profound. The group Alabama did just that for the Tennessee Valley Authority with their 1988 hit, “Song of the South.” One verse reads, “Well Momma got sick and Daddy got down. The county got the farm and they moved to town. Papa got a job with the TVA. He bought a washing machine, then a Chevrolet.” Simplistic as it is, the song […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Speak for Yourself

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association From an early age, we’re taught to speak for ourselves. It’s part of the process of growing up and developing our own identity. “Please, may I have some more?” eventually gets you more food. Pointing out that your malicious sibling broke the lamp may keep you out of trouble. You gain confidence and a sense of self-worth. Mark Twain put it this way: “Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Important Work

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association My good friend Kent Lopez is manager of the Washington Rural Electric Cooperative Association, serving in a position similar to mine. Kent is a transplanted Tennessean, and he recently shared the following about his work: “My alarm goes off an hour earlier this time of the year. The State Legislature is in session. So I spend some extra time every morning getting ready for the day because there are special people relying on me. There is the rancher in Nespelem, the motel owner in Winthrop, […]

  • David Callis serves as Vice President of Statewide Services for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association

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    Leadership Matters

    by David Callis, Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association By now we’ve all come to the realization that the Mayans were wrong. Or, more accurately stated, we were wrong about the Mayans. Just because their calendar ended on Dec. 21, 2012, didn’t mean civilization was going to end on that date. The lesson we all should have learned is that calendars just mark an arbitrary point in time. It’s true that we tie a number of starting points to Jan. 1, but we do that out of simplicity, not because of some cosmic reasoning. […]

  • knotts1

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    Independence forever!

    Mike Knotts, Director of Government Affairs for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association “It will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward evermore.” — John Adams, second letter to Abigail Adams, July 3, 1776 In my opinion, no single act has shaped modern human history as much as the […]

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