Four TVA distributors to add solar generation

Four TVA distributors to add solar generation

March 29th, 2016 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Four TVA distributors have been picked to generate solar power, which the Tennessee Valley Authority will buy as part of a 2-year pilot program to encourage more renewable power production.

TVA said today that 16.7 megawatts of solar capacity — enough to power 1,300 homes — will be added by the Chickasaw Electric Cooperative and Johnson City Power Board in Tennessee, the East Mississippi Electric Power Association in Mississippi and the Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation in Alabama.

The four were picked from among 11 applicants in a solar initiative TVA developed with the Chattanooga-based Tennessee Valley Public Power Association a year ago. Cindy Herron, TVA's vice president of EnergyRight Solutions, called the program "an important Valley solar initiative" that will complement other programs, including EPB's effort to develop a community solar power program known as Solar Shar. EPB plans to build a solar farm on one of its properties that will generate 1.35 megawatts of solar power that will be collectively supported by a number of individual EPB customers.

Herron said the new solar power generation from its distributors "brings our local power companies and solar developers together to generate clean energy in a thoughtful and collaborative manner that best serves the region's 9 million consumers," Herron said. "TVA remains committed to providing clean, efficient renewable energy to reduce our carbon footprint and help protect the environment."

Today, electricity in the Tennessee Valley is being produced at more than 2,600 renewable energy locations that include solar, wind, low-impact hydro and biogas. TVA currently has more than 400 megawatts of renewable solar power under contract, that could supply enough electricity to power more than 216,000 homes.