TVA Steps Up Renewable ProgramsBy Steven Johnson | ECT Staff Writer Published: December 6th, 2013
The nation’s largest public power provider says it plans to work with electric cooperatives and other distribution utilities to ramp up the use of renewable energy.
The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Dec. 4 that it will offer 126 megawatts of renewable power to its customers in 2014 through a variety of power purchasing programs. That’s a 7 percent increase from 2013, TVA said.
TVA also intends to take steps to increase its solar energy capacity as prices for the technology continue to drop. TVA derives solar energy from more than 2,000 locations in its seven-state region.
“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 provides power to 155 electric cooperatives and municipal systems, which account for about 85 percent of the authority’s wholesale business. Many co-ops partner with TVA to offer the renewable programs to members.
As part of the actions, TVA will double capacity to 10 MW for its Green Power Providers effort, which encourages development of small-scale solar, wind, biomass and hydro generation systems of no more than 50 kilowatts.
It also is adding capacity to the Solar Solutions Initiative program, which focuses on installations of 50 kw to1 MW. The program will have 16 MW of capacity in 2014, TVA said.
With 2014 incentives, TVA will pay 14 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar energy through Green Power Providers and 10 cents per kwh through the Solar Solutions Initiative, a price reduction of 26 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from 2013.
TVA also will offer 100 MW of capacity in the Renewable Standard Offer program, which supports large projects. The authority said it will continue to purchase output at prices competitive with the market.
“We are providing consumers with a renewable energy program that builds upon the success of earlier programs,” West said. “These programs balance low-cost and cleaner energy resulting in a renewable portfolio that is good for all 9 million consumers in the Valley.”