TVA Launches Community Solar Initiative

Thursday, August 22, 2013

TVA has launched a new community solar initiative to install at least 500 kilowatts of solar generation at TVA facilities, TVA directly served customer locations, or another government-owned facility, including local public power companies served by TVA.

TVA issued a request for proposals on Aug. 15 to identify community members interested in participating in this Solar Aggregated Value and Education initiative. 

TVA will collaborate with selected participants to fund and build a solar energy project at one or more sites in local communities across the TVA service area. This initiative will include community teams consisting of corporations, government entities, solar industry representatives, businesses and community organizations.

“We’re very excited to be releasing this innovative community solar model and look forward to seeing how our Valley customers, regional businesses and local residents respond,” said Neil Placer, TVA’s project leader for the SAVE initiative. 

This initiative will also provide an opportunity to test the market for the upfront purchase of Renewable Energy Credits, or RECS, that are directly tied to generation from a local solar facility.  RECs represent the property rights to the environmental, social and non-power qualities of renewable electricity generation. RECs are sometimes purchased to meet legislative or regulatory mandates, meet internal goals, support environmental stewardship and other objectives.

 “One of the most exciting components of this initiative is that the community, by working together, can have direct impact on the final capacity size of the project,” Mr. Placer said. “This provides immediate results for those who collaboratively want to work together to grow renewable energy in the Valley while at the same time minimizing the impact to the general ratepayer. In short, we believe the SAVE initiative strives to meet the balanced needs of our customers and provides a distinct value to warrant voluntary contributions by the community.”

The RFP will be handled through a two-stage application process.  The submission deadline for the concept paper proposal will be in November, with the full application due in February 2014 for those selected past the first stage. Final selection of participants is planned for April 2014. 

For more information, visit www.tva.com/environment/epa_mitigation/solar_pv.htm.

The  SAVE initiative is the first of 11 projects TVA is launching as part of  a Clean Air Agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that support TVA’s vision for low-cost and cleaner energy. As part of the agreements, TVA identified additional environmental projects that support cleaner air across the region and align with its vision for a cleaner energy future.   



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