TVA announced Thursday that it plans to make up to $1 billion of credit support available to local power companies who are responding to customer needs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

TVA will defer a portion of wholesale power payments for local power companies during the COVID-19 outbreak and structure a repayment plan as the threat subsides.

“The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the communities we serve is unprecedented and creates a degree of economic uncertainty in the weeks and months ahead,” said TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash during a teleconference Thursday.

The initiative is designed to ease the financial pressure for local power companies whose customers may miss payments. Some local power companies, including Decatur Utilities, have suspended the practice of nonpayment shutoffs.

DU officials said that it was too early to tell how the line of credit could affect them.

Plans will be designed by TVA to fit each participating company's financial needs that may arise.

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