The Tennessee Valley Authority has approved more than 250 small-scale, renewable energy projects across the Tennessee Valley for 2013, successfully reaching TVA’s renewable goals under two different programs.
Working with local power companies, TVA has approved applications for nearly 7.5 megawatts from renewable systems of less than 50 kilowatts each as part of its Green Power Providers program since January. Of those more than 250 projects, all but two are solar installations.
TVA also has received applications for a dozen renewable projects totaling 10 megawatts under its Solar Solutions Initiative pilot program this year. The Solar Solutions Initiative program promotes green jobs in the region by providing incentives for 50 kilowatts to one megawatt solar projects that use certified Tennessee Valley installers.
“Reaching our 2013 application targets demonstrates that TVA’s renewable energy programs are popular even as we lower premium levels consistent with falling prices of renewable technology,” said Patty West, TVA’s director of renewable energy programs. “Our goal is to provide nine million power consumers cleaner electricity, without impacting the cost of electricity that we all pay.”
TVA is accepting applications for renewable systems under 10 kilowatts for the final 500 kilowatts or less of available 2013 Green Power Providers capacity. Potential Green Power Providers applications for systems over 10 kilowatts will have to wait until more capacity is available in 2014, or if a significant amount of Green Power Providers projects approved for 2013 are not completed within their 180-day deadline.
“Residents and businesses are given 180 days to install their renewable system after they are approved,” Ms. West said. “If a project doesn’t move forward or can’t be installed in a timely manner, we can allow someone else the opportunity to build a system. This helps create sustainable, predictable renewable generation growth.”
Since TVA has reached its limit for Solar Solutions Initiative, no new applications will be taken for the pilot program. TVA continues to accept project applications for up to 100 megawatts of capacity under its Renewable Standard Offer for developers of renewable energy projects that are greater than 50 kilowatts and up to 20 megawatts located within the TVA service area. Renewable Standard Offer capacity is purchased by TVA at forecast market prices of electricity.
TVA currently has 6,418 megawatts of operational or committed renewable generation capacity, including hydro. With 1,609 megawatts of renewable capacity added since fall 2010, TVA remains on track with its Integrated Resource Plan target of adding 1,500 to 2,500 megawatts of cost-effective renewable generation by 2020.
"Reviewing and approving 250-plus solar projects within the Tennessee Valley in just a few months is a tremendous feat,” Ms. West said. “Local power companies across the region played a major role in moving this volume of systems forward. They also will be instrumental in inspecting all the individual home and business installations to start transmitting this clean, renewable power to the TVA grid.”