TVA announced Monday that an Environmental Assessment determined a Finding of No Significant Impact that will green light most local power companies across the Tennessee Valley to locally generate a portion of its own load to meet customer needs. Details of the final EA are available at www.tva.com/nepa.
“TVA’s integrated resource strategy continues to bring cleaner, greener power to the region while maintaining low rates and reliability," said Doug Perry, TVA senior vice president, Commercial Energy Solutions. "This option empowering local generation adds another avenue to grow distributed and renewable energy resources across the Valley. Working with our local power company partners, we continue to bring new solutions to market that reduce carbon, meet changing customer needs and attract jobs into our communities.”
“This is very positive for our community, and we see a need for local generation right now,” said BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes. “Customers demand additional solar power, and now we can have local solutions in place to quickly improve the competiveness of our region by proactively meeting those demands.”
Currently, 140 of 154 LPCs have entered into 20-year Long-Term Partnership Agreements with TVA. These agreements allow LPCs to reduce the amount of energy they buy from TVA by generating up to 5 percent of their average energy needs. LPCs will then put the locally generated energy on their distribution system for customers’ use.
The final Environmental Assessment presents a revised preferred alternative that allows for 2.5 times more solar than was defined in the draft Environmental Assessment, which was open for public comment this spring. Through the flexibility provision, LPCs will collectively be able to deploy between 800 MW and 2000 MW of distributed generation, based on resource type, if all 154 LPCs took advantage of the LTPA.
“We are excited to see this announcement, and pleased to see how TVA has reflected the value of solar in its approach to contract flexibility,” said Gabriel Bolas, Knoxville Utilities Board president and CEO. “Our investments in solar through the Green Invest program have allowed KUB to start making real improvements in our power supply mix, and this contract flexibility gives us another way to support our community’s climate goals in the years to come.”
In March, KUB announced that it is partnering with TVA under the Green Invest program to produce carbon-free energy equivalent to 8 percent of KUB’s annual electrical load. This will be in addition to the up to 5 percent of annual load that it may now generate locally and options available through the TVA Green portfolio of renewable solutions.
TVA is a national leader in carbon reduction with nearly 60 percent carbon-free energy generation. TVA’s power system is the “greenest” power system in the southeast United States – having the highest percentage of clean generation among regional peers including nuclear and hydroelectric power, said officials.