TVA seeks proposals for more solar power

The Tennessee Valley Authority is soliciting proposals for more solar generation and battery storage as the federal utility continues to move toward a more carbon-free generation mix.

TVA said it seeking 200 megawatts of solar power production or battery storage capability from developers that can bring new projects online by the end of 2024. Proposals must be submitted by July 20.

Developers can review TVA's request for proposal and submit bids at TVA will announce the selected projects this winter.

Since 2018, TVA's Green Invest program which provides carbon-free power to companies like Amazon and Google that are moving to entirely renewable energy supplies has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment and procured about 2,100 megawatts of solar power.

TVA is on a path to an 80% carbon reduction by 2035 with up to 10,000 megawatts of solar capacity online, while moving toward its aspirational goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.


UPS pledges to be carbon free by 2050

UPS announced Wednesday it aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.

The pledge by the package delivery giant includes carbon neutrality across the key categories of greenhouse gas emissions, including direct emissions and indirect emissions.

To get there, its 2035 targets include reducing CO2 per package by 50% from 2020 levels in its small package operations, powering all of its company facilities with renewable electricity and using sustainable aviation fuel as 30% of its aircraft fuel.

"Our strategic priorities are evolving to reflect the changing needs of our customers and our business, and what matters most to our stakeholders," said UPS CEO Carol Tomé in a written statement.

UPS laid out its environmental goals as part of its investor conference planned for Wednesday.

Ahead of the conference, it also announced that it aims for 2023 revenue ranging from about $98 billion to $102 billion.


DEA says "systemic failure" by makers of opioid drugs

A retired high-ranking official with the Drug Enforcement Administration has testified that three large opioid distributors had a "systematic failure" in monitoring suspicious pill orders.

Joe Rannazzisi, former head of the Office of Diversion Control for the DEA from 2006 to 2015, testified Tuesday in Charleston in a landmark civil case brought by Cabell County and the city of Huntington that accuses AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health Inc. and McKesson Corp. of fueling the U.S. opioid epidemic.

The companies say poor communication and pill quotas set by federal agents are to blame, along with a rise in prescriptions written by doctors.

Rannazzisi testified that the defendants didn't report suspicious orders to the DEA due to a failure with their monitoring systems, The Herald-Dispatch reported. He said the DEA asked the companies in 2005 to rein in their distribution practices. A follow-up review of pill shipping data found the flow of pills was not reduced.


U.S. buys vaccines for global donations

The U.S. will buy 500 million more doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to share through the global COVAX alliance for donation to 92 lower income countries and the African Union over the next year, a person familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

President Joe Biden was set to make the announcement Thursday in a speech before the start of the Group of Seven summit. Two hundred million doses — enough to fully protect 100 million people — would be shared this year, with the balance to be donated in the first half of 2022, the person said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters Wednesday that Biden was committed to sharing vaccines because it was in the public health and strategic interests of the U.S. As Biden embarks on his first foreign trip, he is aiming to show "that democracies are the countries that can best deliver solutions for people everywhere."

"As he said in his joint session (address), we were the 'arsenal of democracy' in World War II," Sullivan said. "We're going to be the 'arsenal of vaccines' over this next period to help end the pandemic."