TVA To Increase Solar, Renewable Energy Capacity


The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is offering a total of 126 MW of renewable energy capacity in the coming year through a variety of power-purchasing programs for homes, businesses and commercial installations, marking a 7% increase over 2013.

The federal agency says it is revising its three renewable energy programs in response to increasing demand for solar energy, with a majority of new capacity offered at prices competitive with wholesale costs. Those changes are as follows:

  • Doubling the residential capacity set aside in the Green Power Providers program, making 10 MW of capacity available for these small renewable projects of less than 50 kW;
  • Increasing capacity for midsize solar projects by 60% in the Solar Solutions Initiative (SSI) program, which focuses on installations from 50 kW to 1 MW;
  • Offering 16 MW of capacity through SSI in 2014, up from 10 MW in 2013 – the TVA also will extend the program to 2015; and
  • Removing the 50% cap on any one technology under the Renewable Standard Offer program, which supports 100 MW of large projects between 1 MW and 20 MW.

With 2014 incentives, the TVA will pay $0.14/kW for solar energy through Green Power Providers $0.10/kW through SSI – a price reduction of 26% and 17%, respectively, from 2013. The TVA says it will continue to purchase output under the Renewable Standard Offer program at prices competitive with the market.

‘The cost of renewable technologies, especially solar, is dropping dramatically,’ says Patty West, director of the TVA's renewable energy programs. ‘The TVA is aligning its program offerings with those declining costs.’

The TVA says it currently has 128 MW of operating or committed solar projects under contract at more than 2,000 locations in its jurisdiction. The TVA's renewables portfolio also includes 1.5 GW from wind and 60 MW from biomass.

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