By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The board of the Tennessee Valley Authority has voted to delegate certain authority to the utility's new chief executive until it fills several vacancies on its board.
The panel is made up of nine members and five seats are pending congressional action, including one that's up for reappointment. Congress is set to adjourn this month.
TVA spokesman Scott Brooks told The Associated Press before Monday's vote that the new authority allows the CEO to conduct TVA business without the board "in certain critical areas," such as handling financing arrangements and contracts.
Last month, TVA's board chose former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson to lead the nation's largest public utility, which provides electricity to 9 million people in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.