TVA’s Renewable Energy Programs Support Transportation Innovation

Parking and commuting at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tenn., is now greener and more convenient thanks to new solar-assisted electric vehicle charging stations and an all-electric car sharing service funded in part by TVA’s Distributed Energy Resources business unit and other community partners.

FEBRUARY 15, 2017—TVA joined with Southern Adventist University (SAU), Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, Prova Group, and GreenCommuter recently for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the university. Thanks to a unique partnership, the on-campus student parking area is now home to a solar canopy containing 20kW of solar enrolled in TVA’s Dispersed Power Production solar program, four charging ports for electric vehicles and two all-electric Nissan LEAFs available for car sharing services under GreenCommuter’s Chattanooga program.

electric cars charging

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, sponsors spoke to university dignitaries, faculty, campus leaders, students and media representatives about the collaborative partnership that created Chattanooga’s first city-wide solar-assisted electric vehicle car sharing program.

The innovative combination of all-electric car sharing and dedicated charging stations at SAU represents one of more than 20 locations around the greater Chattanooga area that host either solar, electric vehicle charging stations or car sharing Nissan LEAFs. When not in use for car sharing operations, the electric vehicle charging stations are open to the public to charge their personal electric vehicles.

“College campuses like Southern Adventist University represent a great opportunity to combine solar charging stations with an all-electric car sharing service, because parking is usually constrained, and some students elect to sacrifice convenience by leaving a vehicle at home,” explained Drew Frye, power utilization engineer in Technology Innovation and project lead for TVA . “Having access to affordable, clean-powered transportation as they need it for doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, transportation to and from work, the mall or downtown is a valuable service for these students.”

The solar charging project is one of 11 projects that TVA agreed several years ago with the EPA to undertake. EnergyRight Solutions has oversight of the projects, which support TVA’s vision for low-cost and cleaner energy.

Green Commuter is a membership-based, fully automated platform where individuals and businesses have 24/7 access to a network of electric vehicles via their smart phone. Members can rent a vehicle on an as-needed basis, paying only for the time they reserve. Green Commuter pays for the electricity, insurance, parking, and maintenance. It's like owning a car without the financial responsibility of car ownership. Click here to learn more about this innovative program.

More Information About TVA and Electric Transportation

Electric vehicles are here, and TVA is working hard to make sure that battery technology continues to advance, the infrastructure is robust and charging stations are prepared for a future of clean transportation. Read more about what TVA is doing to advance the cause of electric transportation.