After a competitive bidding process, EPB announced the selection of Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy to construct Solar Share, Chattanooga's first community solar power generation project.
Officials said Solar Share is a partnership between EPB and TVA to build a renewable power-generating facility at EPB’s Distribution Center at the intersection of North Holtzclaw Avenue and Oak Street going toward Third Street. The pilot project is expected to generate about 1.35 megawatts of renewable electric power, which is enough to meet the needs of about 200 homes.
“We look forward to working with Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy, to provide our customers with a reliable, environmentally-responsible energy source,” said EPB president David Wade. “Community solar power generation is the next step in leveraging Chattanooga’s smart grid to deliver additional sources of power that fulfill our commitment to environmental stewardship.”
According to Tammy Bramlett, TVA Renewable Energy Solutions senior manager, her team has been working with EPB to structure Solar Share in a way that engages the community. She said, “With EPB, we’ve developed an innovative approach to community solar generation that gives local people multiple ways to participate. The future is bright for solar energy, and TVA is proud of its partnership with EPB.”
The timetable for construction will be determined soon with work scheduled for completion by the summer of 2017.
EPB officials said, "Community solar projects like Solar Share are a great way for people to come together in supporting the development of additional sources of sustainable power generation. EPB is working to finalize the details for how customers can participate in Solar Share. This pilot project could be the first of many community-based solar deployments. Those who are interested in learning more are invited to call EPB at (423) 648-1372 to be added to the contact list for future updates."
There were eight bids going from the low of $1.72 million by the winning bidder to a high of $2.98 million.
Tennessee Valley Alternative Energy is a combination of a construction firm based in Fayetteville, Tn., and some solar experts. The firm was a subcontractor of the major solar farm near the Chattanooga Volkswagen plant.
TVA is under a mandate to find alternatives to coal-burning plants.