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Neighbors Powering What Matters

Community Energy: the benefit of BVU Authority and TVA working together
Community Energy

Community Energy—In Our Region, Power Means More

Southwest Virginia communities are powered by a public power model—owned by and accountable to the people who live here. So the initiatives we invest in through our power model serve one purpose: helping our communities thrive.

Because we support public power, we all benefit from Community Energy. It’s the progress our model enables — like more job opportunities thanks to thriving and growing communities, outdoor recreation made possible by our protected lands, cleaner energy sources, and much more.

A Partnership of Service

BVU Authority and TVA work together to power not just our homes and businesses, but our potential too — by combining efforts to help create a future we all believe in.

Working Together to Make Life in Our Community Better

BVU Authority and TVA were founded on a mission to serve — through reliable and affordable energy, a safe and protected environment and thriving economic development.


BVU Authority provides electricity to more than 16,300 homes and businesses in its Southwest Virginia communities.

“The partnership with TVA enables us to provide low rates that customers can count on remaining stable. TVA also supports us with regulatory oversight,” Don L. Bowman, president & CEO of BVU Authority says.

Safety First

The American Public Power Association (APPA) has recognized BVU Authority with Safety Awards for Excellence for safe operating practices in 2021 and 2019. Both times, they won first place in the category for utilities with 60,000-109,999 worker-hours of annual exposure.

“BVU Authority values protecting our employees above all else. These safety awards are a testament to the hard work that goes into ensuring that our team members go home safely to their families every day,” Bowman says.

According to the APPA, “The incidence rate, used to judge entries, is based on the number of work-related reportable injuries or illnesses (per) number of worker-hours during a given year. (This is) defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).”

Our energy has fueled progress in our region since 1933. See the ways it's helping shape our future.

Resources for Your Home, Business and Life

Our partnership makes helpful programs like these possible.

Economic Development

BVU Authority works with TVA Economic Development to attract companies that will bring jobs to the area and help existing businesses and industries grow in a sustainable way.

TVA Economic Development serves the seven states that make up the TVA service area—almost all of Tennessee and parts of Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky.

Partnerships with other economic development organizations also help to foster capital investment and increase employment opportunities in the region.



BVU Authority and TVA work together to support community-wide learning about energy efficiency, meet STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) objectives and provide opportunities to develop skills that can prepare students for careers in technical fields. 


Teachers in public schools that receive power from a TVA distributor can win STEM grants up to $5,000. In 2022 alone, TVA distributed $1 million, in partnership with Bicentennial Volunteers Incorporated, a TVA retiree organization, and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. TVA gives preference to applications covering its primary areas of focus–environment, energy, economic development, and community problem solving. 

BVU Authority celebrates Saint Anne Catholic School for winning a $3,500 TVA STEM grant in 2021. “We extend our sincerest congratulations. When we empower teachers to do their best work, teachers benefit—and so do our students. We look forward to the continued success of this vital program,” Don L. Bowman, president & CEO of BVU Authority says.

He adds, “Communities excel because of a talented workforce. Connecting our local community with additional resources for STEM education programs is an investment in Southwest Virginia’s future. This grant program provides early opportunities for students to train in STEM fields. These future community leaders will develop creative, critical thinking skills that can open doors for great opportunities throughout school and beyond.”

TVA EnergyRight Educational Workshops

Eye Spy Energy Kids’ Workshop

TVA EnergyRight and BVU Authority partner to bring Spark, Bolt, Zap and their other EnergyRight Monster friends to elementary schools across the community, teaching students where energy comes from, how we use it and ways to save at home. Students can continue the energy-saving fun with their families using Eye Spy Energy Kits.

Energy Evolution High School Workshop

TVA EnergyRight and BVU Authority are working together to offer engaging, interactive workshops that empower high school students to reduce their environmental impact and lead the next wave of our planet’s energy evolution.


TVA management of Tennessee Valley’s public lands and waterways such as South Holston Lake provides many opportunities for residents and tourists in the BVU Authority service area to participate in outdoor activities.


BVU Authority partners with TVA to provide safe, reliable, clean power to service area customers. In 2020, they were recognized by the American Public Power Association (APPA) with a Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3)® Platinum designation, an honor that holds for three years.

“This is a great honor and shows our dedication to best industry practices in partnership with TVA. We take a lot of pride in the work we do to power our community. It’s nice to be recognized for our continued efforts and successes on a national level,” Don L. Bowman, president & CEO of BVU Authority says.

He adds, “One area in which BVU supports reliability is by making significant investments in vegetation management. It is worth the cost because our community matters.”

“We are able to do this because of our relationship with TVA. Since we are not focused on shareholders or sending out dollars to investors, we can put our energy and resources into the community. We have also been able to count on TVA to deliver incredibly reliable power. Power outages are an unusual thing and that means we’re doing a great job. Reliability and quality of life are important here,” Bowman says.

TVA supplies community energy to 153 local power companies and about 60 large industrial customers and federal facilities at the lowest feasible cost. For more than 20 years, TVA’s transmission system has achieved a reliability rate of 99.999 percent.

Transmission lines