TVA Moves To Increase Solar Energy Capacity, Expand Renewable Programs

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Tennessee Valley Authority is taking steps that could significantly increase TVA’s solar energy capacity in 2014 while ensuring TVA’s green power programs remain sustainable and cost effective.

TVA is offering a total of 126 megawatts of renewable capacity in the coming year through a variety of power-purchasing programs for homes, businesses and commercial installations, marking a 7 percent increase over 2013.

TVA will be adding capacity and reducing pricing incentives to reflect lower technology costs for generators and to support lower electric rates for the Tennessee Valley’s nine million residents.

TVA is revising its three renewable energy programs particularly in response to increasingly popular solar energy, with a majority of new capacity offered at prices competitive with TVA’s wholesale costs.

TVA currently has 128 megawatts of operating or committed solar projects under contract at more than 2,000 locations across the region. TVA’s renewables portfolio also includes 1,500 megawatts from wind and 60 megawatts from biomass.

“Demand for our renewables programs is strong,” said Patty West, director of TVA’s Renewable Energy Programs. “We are working with our local power companies to direct capacity to the most cost-effective programs and streamlining the processes for these programs to make it easier for participants.

“The cost of renewable technologies, especially solar, is dropping dramatically,” she said. “TVA is aligning its program offerings with those declining costs. That means that Valley residents will pay less for renewable energy.”

Program Improvements at a Glance:

Green Power Providers

Renewable Standard Offer

Solar Solutions Initiative

  • Doubling residential capacity

 

  • Removed 50 percent cap on any specific technology

 

  • 60 percent increase in capacity
  • Extending program 2 years to 2015

TVA is doubling the residential capacity set aside in its most popular program, Green Power Providers. TVA is making 10 megawatts of capacity available for these small renewable projects of less than 50 kilowatts.

Capacity also is being increased for mid-size solar projects by 60 percent in the Solar Solutions Initiative program, which focuses on installations from 50 kilowatts to 1 megawatt in size, and encourages use of local installers to support local economies.

TVA will offer 16 megawatts of SSI capacity in 2014, up from 10 megawatts in 2013. TVA also will extend the program, originally a two-year pilot program, for two more years to 2015. 

With 2014 incentives, TVA will pay 14 cents per kilowatt for solar energy through Green Power Providers and 10 cents per kilowatt through the Solar Solutions Initiative, a price reduction of 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from 2013.

TVA continues to offer 100 megawatts of capacity available in the Renewable Standard Offer program, which supports large projects between 1 megawatt and 20 megawatts. For 2014, all 100 megawatts of available capacity will be allowed for any of the qualified technologies, including wind, solar and biomass projects. TVA will continue to purchase output at prices competitive with the market.

“We are providing consumers with a renewable energy program that builds upon the success of earlier programs,” Ms. West said. “These programs balance low-cost and cleaner energy resulting in a renewable portfolio that is good for all nine million consumers in the Valley.”


Athens Utility Board Wins 2nd Consecutive Taud Regional Best Tasting Water Contest

Athens Utility Board was recently announced as the winner of the Region 10 Best Tasting Water Contest conducted by the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts.  The contest, held at Eastside Utility District on Wednesday, Feb. 25, marked the second year in a row that Athens Utility Board was named best in the region. Drinking water samples are judged on their clarity, bouquet ... (click for more)

Northwest Georgia Career Expo To Provide Recruitment Opportunities For Employers; Chances For Employment For Jobseekers

The Georgia Department of Labor and the Catoosa County Board of Commissioners will co-sponsor the Northwest Georgia Regional Career Expo on  April 2  in Ringgold. The expo will provide employers in the 15-county area with opportunities to recruit qualified and skilled employees. The expo will give jobseekers chances to meet reputable employers and expand their career ... (click for more)

2 Hit While Walking On Birmingham Highway; 1 Dies At The Hospital

Two pedestrians were struck by a single vehicle on Highway 11 (Birmingham Highway) in Lookout Valley on Tuesday night. One of those who was struck died after being taken to a local hospital. Police said the other person who was hit was responsive. The incident happened shortly after 7 p.m. at 261 Birmingham Hwy. which is in the area of the Lookout Valley Cracker ... (click for more)

Henry Hopes To Bring E-Filing To Clerk's Office This Year; Saving Almost $222,000 On Personnel

Circuit Court Clerk Larry Henry said he hopes to bring E-Filing of documents and other court papers to the clerk’s office this year.   He said at first it appeared it might take much longer, but that progress is being made to the online program. Mr. Henry told members of the Pachyderm Club that attorneys, litigants and members of the public would be able to go online to ... (click for more)

Tennessee Deserves Better Health Reform - And Response

Tennessee needs health care reform. Expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare," was not the best solution for Tennesseans. That is why the vast majority of Tennessee legislators never publicly supported the plan defeated in a special legislative session in February.   It is important to distinguish health care from health insurance. As one physician ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Happy Birthday, Mr. Berg

This past Monday we should have closed the Post Office, let kids out of school, and lowered our flags to half-mast. March 2 is the anniversary of Moe Berg’s birthday and the legendary Casey Stengel once said Moe was “the strangest man ever to play baseball.” Moe played major league baseball for 16 years, finishing with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and a lifetime batting average of ... (click for more)