Sept. 21--KUB's large industrial customers will qualify for financial incentives if they curb power use and commit to remaining in the area now that KUB has approved participation in two TVA programs, a KUB official said Friday.
While participation in TVA's Reserve Preservation and Valley Commitment programs won't directly benefit the Knoxville Utilities Board, it will help some large KUB customers save money, said Mark Walker, KUB vice president and chief financial officer.
"We like the benefit of our customers potentially having a lower rate," he said.
The KUB board at its meeting Thursday approved resolutions allowing KUB customers to take part in the TVA programs. Nearly 30 companies are eligible to apply, Walker said.
Reserve Preservation, known as an interruptible power program, gives the commercial and industrial customers taking part a chance to earn credits on their power bills if they agree to let TVA suspend their power use during certain times. Generally, the customer will receive 30 minutes notice of a power interruption during a peak demand period.
The Valley Commitment Program provides monthly energy credits for customers who agree to remain with TVA for two years. Reserve Preservation has been around several years, but Valley Commitment is a new program set to start Oct 1, Walker said.
"This is designed to attract new load to the TVA service area or to encourage retention of large manufacturing customers," Walker told the KUB board.
KUB has about 11 customers that would qualify for Reserve Preservation and 17 who would qualify for Valley Commitment, Walker said.
Some customers, such as the Gerdau steel mill operation -- KUB's single largest electricity customer -- would be eligible for both programs.
A Gerdau official could not be reached for comment.
Companies must meet certain criteria to participate in the TVA programs.
Reserve Preservation is open to companies that have a contract demand greater than 5,000 kilowatts of electricity, with 500 kilowatts of that interruptible. Valley Commitment is open to customers with a contract demand of more than 1,000 kilowatts.
Also Thursday, Julie Childers, KUB vice president of engineering, updated the board on improvements to the wastewater system. Since 2005 KUB has pursued a federally mandated sewer upgrade program, replacing pipe at a rate of about 25 miles per year, Childers said.
By 2040, KUB will have replaced all its oldest and most leak-prone pie, but by then the plastic and iron pipe installed in the 1970s will need replacing, she said.