MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - MLGW leaders have started the process to study getting the utility’s power from a source other than the Tennessee Valley Authority.
It’s the first time ever for MLGW to embark on such a study called an Integrated Resource Plan.
MLGW CEO J.T. Young said this process is moving very quickly. They informed council members of the members that have been selected to be on the power supply advisory team
The list of 20 people first publicized Tuesday is a who’s who of Shelby County leaders from Memphis and municipalities, including Sally Heinz, the president of MIFA; Beverly Robertson, the CEO of the Greater Memphis Chamber; and Deidre Malone, president of the NAACP Memphis branch.
City COO Doug McGowen is serving on the team as Mayor Jim Strickland's designee.
“I think this is a real opportunity for us to really wade into how we receive our energy, what kinds of improvements we can receive,” McGowen said.
The process could take up to 12 months, although the utility will try to expedite it.
Team members along with a consultant hired in will analyze various risks and potential cost savings for the utility in switching its power source from the Tennessee Valley Authority.
That would include any additional investments MLGW may have to make. The team is expected to meet at least seven times in 2019 with more meetings likely in 2020.
“We've got to go through this process now that we've started it to make sure we know what's optimal,” Young said.
Numerous other studies have suggested MLGW could save millions by leaving TVA. Young says TVA’s rates have stayed largely flat, but they owe it to ratepayers to check all options.
“We’ve seen such good, reliable, reasonable priced service,” Young said. “What we want to make sure though is that into the future that will continue, and this is the only way to make sure of that.”
Young said they are exploring a suggestion from council member Martavius Jones – who’s also on the team – to add more ordinary citizens to the group.
The team also includes representatives from the Sierra Club and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. The utility has tentatively scheduled a number of public meetings for you to weigh in on this process. The first one is set for later this month on April 30.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland will present his 2020 budget at Memphis City Council, which includes a three percent pay raise for public safety workers like police and firefighters.