CHATTANOOGA, TN – Today the Tennessee Valley Authority Board of Directors held a public listening session at the Chattanooga Convention Center. Trent Scott, vice president of communications for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association, addressed the board during the listening session, and a readout of his comments is below.
Good afternoon. My name is Trent Scott, and I serve as Vice President of Communications for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association. TECA represents 25 consumer-owned electric co-ops that deliver power to 3 million homes and businesses.
In 1965 my father – Norman Scott – went to work for Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation, a TVA-served co-op in west Tennessee. He began his career as a groundman and worked his way up, retiring in 2004 as a district manager.
As a child, I remember sitting at my father’s desk following a storm. He would use Post-it Notes to keep track of power outages. These notes didn’t have GPS coordinates or addresses – just a name. He knew where each and every person lived, which substation breaker they were on and how the reports from the crews impacted them.
Today, this same task is performed by outage management software that aggregates data in real-time to pinpoint the location of damage to the grid.
We no longer live in a Post-it Note world.
Ours is an industry that evolves at a rapid pace.
Increasingly, critical areas of our economy, from education to healthcare, commerce to communication, even transportation, depend on reliable and affordable electric energy.
And while much has changed, a lot remains the same. Electric co-ops and TVA share a commitment to innovation, service, and boldly investing in our communities.
In 1983 my dad received this – a commemorative Coke bottle celebrating TVA’s 50th Anniversary. It reads “50th Anniversary, TVA, 1933–1983, Shaping Tomorrow Today.”
Much to the chagrin of my mother, this lived in my parent’s china cabinet. There in the dining room, next to grandma’s silver, was this TVA Coke bottle. My dad loved this industry and the opportunity it provided him to serve his community.
This year, TVA celebrates its 90th anniversary, and the slogan “Shaping Tomorrow Today” printed on this now 40-year-old bottle of Coke, could not be more profound.
The decisions we make today have lasting impacts.
There are great opportunities facing the Tennessee Valley, but with those come very real challenges.
As this board works to solve those challenges, let me encourage you to view co-ops as partners.
Tennessee’s electric co-ops provide TVA with well over $3 billion of revenue each year, but our partnership can represent much more. We can be a source of capacity as well. Whether it be energy efficiency and demand response programs or added flexibility to develop our own generation, electric co-ops are ready to work alongside TVA to solve the Valley’s energy needs.
We value our partnership, we share your commitments, and we’ve been here since the beginning. We want to help you “Shape Tomorrow Today.”