By Thomas Simpson
TUPELO – The Tennessee Valley Authority presented the city of Tupelo with an energy incentive check for $122,604 for its efforts in the 30 energy savings projects the city completed in 2016-17.
TVA also showcased its first use of a drone to inspect the city’s projects, making the city of Tupelo TVA’s first drone city. Mayor Jason Shelton and a few members of TVA got the chance to control the drones during the demonstration. TVA began testing drone inspections Dec. 1.
“During these inspections, we like to use the newest technology,” said Chad Wilson, program manager commercial and industrial energy utilization. “We use the drones to inspect the projects inside the city, and are able to use that technology to save time, money, and make it safer to perform inspections.”
Since 2008, TVA has worked toward energy savings and energy conservation with its EnergyRight Solutions program to improve the quality of life in the Valley. In 2016, the Valley saved more than 381 GWh in energy efficiency, which is enough energy to power 24,600 homes. The city of Tupelo saved more than 2,722,597 KWh with these projects, enough energy to power 175 homes in the city.
“It’s a plus for the city of Tupelo and something that we are very proud of,” Shelton said. “We have an 80-plus year partnership with TVA, and it is exciting today for them to announce that we are the first TVA drone city and have the ability to use the latest technology to improve services in Tupelo.”
As for Shelton’s plans moving forward, the mayor just wants to continue to improve in energy efficiency.
“It’s nice to be recognized, but we have to continue to save energy consumption, reduce energy costs and continue to provide excellent service to our citizens and improve their quality of life,” he said.
TVA is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power distributors serving 9 million people in seven southeastern states. The organization also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.