Meeting Feb. 16 in Gatlinburg, TN, the TVA Board of Directors elected Richard Howorth of Oxford, MS, as chair-elect.

A former Oxford mayor, Howorth is in his second term on the TVA board and will assume the chair duties May 19 for the next two years. He would succeed V. Lynn Evans of Memphis, TN, who presided at the Feb. 16 meeting. Evans will continue as chair until her board term expires on May 18.

“Richard has served TVA and the Tennessee Valley honorably for many years,” Evans said. “Our board will be seeing up to five new members in the next year, and Richard’s selection will help ensure continuity as new board members get acclimated to their policy roles and learn more about the mission and work of TVA.”

Howorth joined the board in 2011 and began his second term in December 2015. His current term will expire May 18, 2020. Howorth has served on all five board committees – External Relations, People and Performance, Nuclear Oversight, Finance/Rates/Portfolio and Audit/Risk/Regulation.

In other business, the board renewed the charter for TVA’s Regional Energy Resource Council. The board created the council four years ago to advise on energy resources and give voice to diverse perspectives on energy issues. Most recently, the council was involved in the development of TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan that provides a roadmap for the region’s energy future.

TVA President/CEO Bill Johnson highlighted first quarter financial and operational performance, noting that TVA has reduced O&M costs by a sustainable $800 million and power rates are lower, year over year.

Johnson also recognized the dedication and work ethic of employees at the Paradise Fossil Plant in Paradise, KY, where two older coal units will be retired later this year; a third coal unit will continue to operate at Paradise, alongside a new combined-cycle natural gas plant.

“These units … have served the region well for more than half a century,” Johnson said. “This has been a difficult but necessary decision based on economics.

“I appreciate the employees at Paradise, their record of dedicated service to TVA and their commitment to working safely as we plan for the retirement of the two units,” Johnson said.