Tennessee Valley Authority

Tennessee Valley Authority
State-owned enterprise
IndustryElectric utility
FoundedSeptember 18, 1933 (1933-69-18)
HeadquartersKnoxville, Tennessee, U.S.
Key people
Jeff Lyash, CEO
Revenue$11.56 billion USD (FY 2013 ending September 30, 2013)
$1.453 billion USD (FY 2013)
TVA Towers, TVA's headquarters in downtown Knoxville, overlooking the Tennessee River

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is a federally owned corporation in the United States created by congressional charter on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression. The enterprise was a result of the efforts of Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska. TVA was envisioned not only as a provider, but also as a regional economic development agency that would use federal experts and electricity to more quickly modernize the region's economy and society.

TVA's service area covers most of Tennessee, portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Kentucky, and small slices of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. It was the first large regional planning agency of the federal government and remains the largest. Under the leadership of David Lilienthal ("Mr. TVA"), the TVA became a model for America's efforts to help modernize agrarian societies in the developing world.[1]


Tennessee Valley Authority Surplus/Deficit
Wilson Dam, completed in 1924, was the first dam under the authority of TVA, created in 1933.

The Tennessee Valley Authority was initially founded as an agency to provide general economic development to the region through power generation, flood control, navigation assistance, fertilizer manufacturing, and agricultural development, but has evolved primarily into a power utility. Despite its shares being owned by the federal government, TVA operates exactly like a private corporation, and receives no taxpayer funding.[2] The TVA Act authorizes the company to use eminent domain.[3]

TVA provides electricity to approximately ten million people through a diverse portfolio which includes nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas-fired, hydroelectric, and renewable generation. TVA sells its power to 154 local power utilities, 5 direct industrial and institutional customers, and 12 surrounding utilities.[4] In addition to power generation, TVA provides flood control with its 29 hydroelectric dams, which allow for recreational activities, and provides navigation and land management along rivers within its region of operation.[2] TVA also assists governments and private companies on economic development projects.[2]

TVA has a nine member board of directors, each nominated by the United States President and confirmed by the United States Senate. The part time members serve five year terms and receive an annual stipend of $45,000 ($50,000 for the chairman). The board members choose the chief executive officer (CEO).[5]

The Tennessee Valley Authority Police are the primary law enforcement agency for the company. Initially part of the TVA, the TVA Police became a federal law enforcement agency in 1994.

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