TVA Renewable Energy Program Moves Forward

KNOXVILLE, Tenn., July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Tennessee Valley Authority has resumed enrollments in its Generation Partners pilot program for renewable electricity projects of up to one megawatt in generation capacity to help encourage the development of solar, wind and other non-traditional electricity sources.

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Under the new plan announced Monday to address the unexpectedly fast growth in the pilot project, TVA will:

  • Process all participation agreements submitted by Aug. 31 for qualifying systems from 201 kilowatts up to 999 kilowatts;
  • Maintain the existing pilot project for systems of up to 200 kilowatts or less;
  • Extend the deadline to install approved projects from six months to one year for all systems larger than 200 kilowatts.

"TVA is responding rapidly to fulfill the commitments we have made in recent months to the distributors and developers seeking to participate in Generation Partners," said John Trawick, senior vice president for Commercial Operations and Pricing.

After these adjustments are in place, longer-term modifications will be considered to accommodate ongoing growth and interest in projects greater than 200 kilowatts. TVA will be collaborating with both distributors and renewable developers to provide input into these long-term opportunities.

The changes in the Generation Partners pilot program will support efforts to increase low-emission and zero-emission sources of electricity for TVA's Green Power Switch program. Now in its 11th year, the program includes 113 distributors and about 12,000 residential and more than 500 commercial participants. Their voluntary renewable energy purchases, sold in $4 blocks of 150 kilowatt-hours a month, have offset nearly 450,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equal to the amount produced from using about a million barrels of oil or 50 million gallons of gasoline.

"The continuing growth of Generation Partners shows the interest in renewable energy by people in the TVA service region," Trawick said. "We thank all of those involved for their support and patience."

TVA briefly held up new Generation Partner enrollment in June to adjust to overwhelming customer response and develop a plan for addressing the large number of projects proposed. The surge in applications came in April after TVA began approving participation in advance to make it easier for customers to finance projects.

On June 23, TVA resumed enrollment of projects of 200 kilowatts or less. Under the changes announced then and Monday, qualifying solar, wind, biomass or hydroelectric projects of up to 999 kilowatts will be eligible for the Generation Partners incentives, which include a $1,000 payment to offset startup costs. In addition, TVA will buy 100 percent of the green power that participants produce, paying the retail rate, plus any fuel cost adjustment, and a premium per kilowatt-hour, depending on the type of renewable energy produced.

For more information, visit the Generation Partners website at http://www.tva.com/greenpowerswitch/partners/index.htm.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for utility and business customers in most of Tennessee and parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia – an area of 80,000 square miles with a population of 9 million. TVA operates 29 hydroelectric dams, 11 coal-fired power plants, three nuclear plants and 11 natural gas-fired power facilities and supplies up to 33,700 megawatts of electricity, delivered over 16,000 miles of high-voltage power lines. TVA also provides flood control, navigation, land management and recreation for the Tennessee River system and works with local utilities and state and local governments to promote economic development across the region. TVA, which makes no profits and receives no taxpayer money, is funded by sales of electricity to its customers. Electricity prices in TVA's service territory are below the national average.

SOURCE Tennessee Valley Authority



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