Allen Site Reflects TVA’s Changing Portfolio

Thursday, August 31, 2017 - by Scott Fiedler

It happened Tuesday, just before dawn. At the flip of a switch, TVA began generating solar energy—approximately 1 megawatt worth—at its newly built midscale solar array in Memphis, located inside the Allen Natural Gas Plant project site.

Dan Tibbs, general manager of Major Projects at TVA, describes the scope of the $1.3 million installation: “The array is comprised of 3,116 panels, each one generating up to 320 watts… enough renewable energy to power about 120 homes.”

A time-lapse video shows how over the course of roughly three months, more than 3,000 solar panels were installed at TVA's Allen Natural Gas Plant near Memphis, Tenn.

Click here to download video (64mb).

The Allen installation is TVA’s first foray into sizable, self-constructed solar; heretofore, the company has mostly purchased solar power from third parties (totaling about 400 MWs), or constructed only small demonstration installations.

Hence, TVA stands to gain much from this new project, according to Stephen Noe, manager of Midscale Renewables. “We’ll gain first-hand experience of what it’s like to operate and maintain solar panels over time,” he said. “We’ll have the chance to work with new, smart inverters [which translate the DC energy produced by solar cells into usable AC energy] and experiment with them to provide voltage support and other things. And we’ll learn about the true cost of ownership.”

The upshot? “It will give us a better idea of how TVA will choose to integrate solar into its portfolio in the future,” Mr. Noe says. That’s critical, as TVA expects to spend $8 billion dollars on renewable generation over the next 20 years.

Meanwhile, looking at the Allen properties as a whole, you can clearly see a reflection of TVA’s evolving generation portfolio in action, suggests Mr. Tibbs. “We are transitioning from the Allen Fossil Plant, which we will close in 2018, to a cleaner-burning gas plant,” he says. “And we have successfully integrated two renewable projects into the new gas plant’s design: the solar array, and a 5 megawatt biogas project.”

Altogether, by the end of 2018, Allen will be a diverse site producing enough clean energy to power approximately 2,900 average homes. It’s a logical conclusion, Mr. Tibbs says: “Our generation is simply evolving with an ever-changing world and consumer demands.”




Former U.S. Attorney Bill Killian Joins Chambliss Law

Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. announces former presidentially appointed U.S. Attorney William "Bill" C. Killian has joined the firm. Mr. Killian will concentrate his practice in assisting clients with regulatory investigations, white collar criminal defense, and governmental law.  Mr. Killian has been trying cases for more than 40 years and has experience in representing, ... (click for more)

Cambridge Square Welcomes 3 New Office Tenants

Cambridge Square, Ooltewah’s growing commercial, entertainment, and residential community, has added three new office tenants, according to Marketing and Leasing Director Jim Cheney. Additionally, in response to the increasing demand for professional space, Cambridge Square has expanded its flex space office portfolio to accommodate small business owners seeking shorter term lease ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Many Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Chattanooga Airport officials said on Wednesday afternoon, " As inclement weather continues to cause a few delays or cancellations at the Chattanooga Airport, American Airlines flight 5159 originally scheduled ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)