History of TMEPA
Tennessee Municipal Electric Power Association
formed as a loosely knit organization in 1966, primarily to negotiate a state
statute concerning the terms by which cities would acquire Rural Electric
Cooperative distribution facilities (electric) when their owning
municipalities annexed territory and expanded their city limits. Prior to
this time, these cities only representation was by the Tennessee Municipal
League (TML). TML represented all 350 plus incorporated cities which included 50%
that were served by Rural Electric Cooperatives; hence the difficulty in annexation
disputes and the need for a
organization. TML did not concentrate on the needs of the electric
systems. As such
TMEPA has expanded
to represent all the legislative needs
primarily in Nashville
but also in Washington, D.C.
which it coordinates with TML, TVPPA, APPA and other utility organizations.
TMEPA is governed by a thirteen-member Board of
Directors, chosen in staggered terms; three (3) from each of the main
divisions of the State and one (1) each from the four (4) largest
members. The term of each director is three years. From this governing
body, a President, President-Elect and Secretary-Treasurer are elected
each year for a 12-month period.
The 2017/2018 President is Shannon Littleton of Lenoir
City, President-Elect is Brian Taylor of Clarksville and Scott
Dahlstrom of Trenton is Secretary/Treasurer.
The Annual Meeting is usually held the second week of July and its
location is rotated from East to West to Middle Tennessee. The 2017
Annual Meeting of the Members was in Memphis, TN and it was a great
meeting. The 2018 Annual Meeting will be in Chattanooga at the
Chattanoogan Hotel, July 11-13, 2018. Each year in February or
March we have a Legislative Rally and Reception in honor of the Members
of the General Assembly. The 2018 Rally & Reception is scheduled
for February 13, 2018 at the Hermitage Hotel, Nashville.
TMEPA represents 59 of the 60
municipally owned electric systems in Tennessee which serve approximately 70% of our
state’s electric consumers and 75% of the power sold. The four
(4) largest (Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, and Chattanooga) serve almost
1,140,000 of the nearly 2,192,000 municipal customers. Memphis is the largest with
just over 405,000 and Newbern the smallest at 1,745. The
Association exists to create the optimum environment in which city-owned
electric systems can serve the needs of their customer/owners.
TMEPA is a member of the American Public Power
Association (APPA) in Washington, D.C. and Tennessee Valley Public Power
Association (TVPPA) in Chattanooga.
current Executive Director is Brian Solsbee who was appointed on June
12, 2017 to work with Mike Vinson until he retired on July 28, 2017.
Mr. Solsbee has over 11 years of experience in the electric
utility industry as a General Manager at Etowah Utilities Department
and with TVA. The first Executive Director of TMEPA was Tommy Walker
who served from the beginning year (1966) until 1988. He was followed
by Bill Moss, who served from August 1, 1988 until his retirement in
August 2003 and, as mentioned, Mike Vinson who served from June 2003
till July 2017.
Jeremy Elrod is the Director of Government Relations and the Executive Administrative Assistant is Susan Sherrill.