JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — The Tennessee Valley Authority is starting to feel underused. The reason? More energy efficient consumers and increased production in hydroelectric power. The president of TVA said a drop in demand is putting Bellefonte Nuclear Plant workers on the chopping block.
“We announced earlier in the year that we are going to slow down our spending on the Bellefonte plant,” said Bill Johnson, President and CEO of TVA. “The need for that plant has slipped out as customers like you are using electricity less, the whole economy has changed usage.”
It’s a hit for Jackson County. The plant is slowly, but surely, losing its manpower. “To reduce our spending unfortunately, we have to reduce the head count. we will go from about 500 to about 150 over the course of the next year,” said Johnson.
So, what does it mean for the approximately 350 workers out of jobs? “Unfortunately for some of them, it means they go home and their work there has finished for the time being,” said Johnson. “Most of the full time TVA employees either went to another plant or another part of the business.”
It’s not a popular solution, however Johnson said it’s already underway.” We’re in the middle of that process now, we’re still going to spend enough money there and have enough people there to protect that asset.”
In addition to the reduction in work force, the budget for Bellefonte will be reduced from approximately $182 million in FY2013 to $66 million in 2014.