History of Muscle Shoals
On May 18, 1933, President Roosevelt signed into law the
Tennessee Valley Authority Act creating the Tennessee Valley
Authority which took over the operation of electrical production
facilities at Wilson Dam.
On July 30, 1933, Muscle Shoals Mayor George L. McBride
submitted a formal resolution of the City of Muscle Shoals
requesting electric service to the town of Muscle Shoals,
In Muscle Shoals City prior to October of 1933, there were
three small distribution systems operated by real estate
developers, only one of which was receiving electric service.
The area receiving service was the Highland Park section
operated by the Muscle Shoals Land Company, and power was
being furnished by some diesel electric sets.
The City developed ownership arrangements with the owner
of the privately owned distribution system serving Highland
Park, and on October 14, 1933, the distribution system in
the Highland Park area was connected into the distribution
system of the fertilizer works, and thus TVA power was made
available to approximately 24 residential customers in Muscle
Shoals. The city was unable to obtain sufficient capital
to purchase the remaining two private systems and to provide
electric service to all the residents of Muscle Shoals,
and the city requested the Tennessee Valley Authority to
take over and operate their municipal electric distribution
system since they were not in a position to make the necessary
At this time in August 1934 there was a total of 60 connected
customers in Muscle Shoals with a monthly revenue of approximately
$150. Credit was extended to the electric department, and
during the ensuing year the city managed to obtain some
pole line material and connect the other two small distribution
systems to the Highland Park section so that by November
1934, 25 additional customers were being served.
The patchwork system soon became entirely inadequate to
serve the growing needs of the customers who, incidentally,
established the highest average use in kilowatt-hours per
customer in the Tennessee Valley; and it became necessary
to rebuild the entire system. The city's investment in electric
facilities had reached $9,600 by 1935, and it was decided
to abandon the antiquated patchwork system and construct
a new system. This was accomplished by the aid of a $14,000
grant and an $18,000 loan from the Public Works Administration.
On January 19, 1935, the City of Muscle Shoals executed
their first 20-year power contract with the Tennessee Valley
Authority which provided for electric power in the amount
of 750 kilowatts.
New residential construction within the city proceeded with
a relatively high pace, and in 1944, ten years after the
establishment of the electricity department, they were serving
a total of 344 commercial and residential customers and
no industrial customers. The value of the system was approximately
$38,750, the entire distribution system had been paid for
by the customers out of the earnings, and all of the original
system installed by the real estate operators had been retired.
Today, in 2016, 83 years after the establishment of the electricity department, 7,887 customers receive service with annual revenues of approximately $28 million and assets of $34 million. The city has a modern electric system adequate to take care of present needs and future loads occasioned by new customers building homes and businesses in the city.
Our Board of Directors meets on the third Tuesday of each month at 4:30pm at our main office. Meeting notices and/or changes are posted in our lobby.
This history compiled and written by past managers and updated by present Manager, Matt Bernauer.