published Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

TVA resumes buying renewable power

The Tennessee Valley Authority will spend more money to put more sunshine into its energy future.

On Tuesday, TVA lifted a month-old limit on new solar generation projects in the Tennessee Valley and agreed to spend more than the $50 million originally budgeted for renewable energy generation.

The federal utility was swamped with solar proposals this spring and initially suspended reviewing the applications for the biggest projects in the Tennessee Valley.

But TVA spokesman Mike Bradley said the agency has agreed to process the 39 pending applications for photovoltaic solar generation to help expand its portfolio of renewable energy under its Generation Partners program by up to 32 megawatts of generation.

TVA said it will extend the deadline to install approved projects from six months to one year for all systems larger than 200 kilowatts and will process all participation agreements for renewable energy production submitted by Aug. 31 for qualifying systems up to 999 kilowatts.

“TVA is responding rapidly to fulfill the commitments we have made in recent months to the distributors and developers seeking to participate in Generation Partners,” TVA Vice President John Trawick said in a statement.

Stephen Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, praised TVA for reopening the Generation Partners program.

“The solar industry is vital to the development of clean energy in the Tennessee Valley,” he said.

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