TVA to boost renewable power purchases next year but pay lower premium prices

TVA to boost renewable power purchases next year but pay lower premium prices

December 4th, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local - Breaking News

Fred Holder, left, and D.J. Shelton, with the company Greenform, stand next to an array of solar panels on the roof of the La-Z-Boy furniture factory in Dayton, Tenn. The factory has taken steps to become more environmentally friendly which include installing a starter array of solar panels on the roof and using battery-operated power tools and energy efficient lighting on a manufacturing pod.

Photo by Doug Strickland/Times Free Press.

The Tennessee Valley Authority will buy up to 7 percent more renewable energy next year but will pay lower premiums for solar energy.

TVA announced today that it will buy up to 126 megawatts of renewable power through its three renewable energy programs.

"Demand for our renewables programs is strong," said Patty West, director of TVA's renewable energy programs. "We are working with our local power companies to direct capacity to the most cost-effective programs and streamlining the processes for these programs to make it easier for participants."

TVA currently has 128 megawatts of operating or committed solar projects under contract at more than 2,000 locations. But TVA met its allotted supply for renewable purchases in 2012 by this spring. TVA is lowering the premium paid for solar energy bought through its Green Power Providers by 26 percent to to 14 cents per kilowatthour and is cutting the incentives for its Solar Solutions Initiative by 17 percent to 10 cents per kilowatthour.

"The cost of renewable technologies, especially solar, is dropping dramatically," she said. "TVA is aligning its program offerings with those declining costs. That means that Valley residents will pay less for renewable energy."