Information for Developers and Trade Allies
Independent developers and installers of renewable energy generation systems are finding a growing market in the Tennessee Valley, thanks to Green Power Providers.
Participants in the Green Power Providers program are usually the owners of the generation systems. However, in some cases an outside developer may own a system that is located on a participant’s property. In that case the developer and participant sign a separate agreement covering the use and inspection of the system on the participant’s site and the payment from the developer for using the site.
PLEASE NOTE: The participant, not the outside developer, is the one who is paid for the power generation for 20 years. This agreement is separate from the participation agreement signed with the distributor.
General Overview of Green Power Providers
Q + A for Developers
Which renewable resources and technologies are eligible for the program?
Projects that generate electricity from technologies using any one of the following sources are eligible: solar, wind, low-impact hydropower and biomass. Biomass includes all solid, liquid and gaseous forms of these fuels:
- Woody waste
- Agricultural crops or waste
- Animal or other organic waste
- Energy crops
- Landfill gas and wastewater methane.
Go to the Renewable Energy Resources page to learn more about each technology.
Is there a deadline to get a system installed?
The generating system must be installed and approved by the local power company within 180 calendar days of TVA’s approval of the participation agreement. This information can be found in section 2.1 of the participation agreement. Solar installations approved by TVA in Calendar Year 2015 must be designed, inspected, and approved by a renewable energy professional that has passed the NABCEP entry level exam at a minimum. Upon approval, the NABCEP installer must sign the System Acceptance Form. NABCEP is an acronym for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (www.nabcep.org). The system must comply with environmental regulations and national standards, be certified by a licensed electrician, and comply with all applicable codes.
What if I can't get my system installed within the 180 Calendar Days allowed in the Participation Agreement?
There will not be an opportunity to extend this 180 Calendar Day term. Systems that do not meet this installation deadline are welcome reapply, subject to the terms and conditions of the program at the time TVA provides final approval of the Participation Agreement.
Do all power companies participate in the Green Power Providers program?
Participation in the program is entirely at the discretion of the power company. Go to the Participating Power Companies page for more information.
What are the specific connection requirements?
Customers must submit an interconnection application to their local power company. The power company will determine whether the project can be fast-tracked or if it must undergo a feasibility study to determine the impact on the distribution system. Local power companies may alter the proposed interconnection procedures and agreement drafted by TVA to suit their local guidelines or processes. Contact your local power company for more information.
Can renters or those leasing property participate?
Customers must submit an interconnection application to the local power company. The power company will determine whether the project can be fast-tracked, or if it must undergo a feasibility study to determine the impact on the distribution system. Local power companies may alter the proposed interconnection procedures and agreement drafted by TVA to suit their local guidelines or processes. Contact your power company for more information.
Why does the Green Power Providers participation agreement end after 20 years?
TVA and local power companies worked together in the product development process in 2011–12 and received feedback from consumers about the length of the contract. Overall, consumers indicated that a 20-year contract term, as opposed to a longer agreement, would meet their needs.
How were the premiums determined?
TVA looked at the incentives from several perspectives:
- Current renewable energy credit markets
- Purchasing emission allowances for potential renewable portfolio scenarios
- Cost to build and own renewable resources
- Comparison to current customer incentives
- Rate of return and payback analysis for customer
Are there ways to help pay for installations?
Federal tax credits (these are subtracted from the total tax liability, in contrast to a tax deduction):
- Solar: 30 percent residential and commercial tax credit with no cap through Dec. 31, 2016
- Wind: Maximum size of 100 kWh, 30 percent tax credit
- State tax credits: vary by state
- Property tax credits: vary by state
- Additional information regarding federal and state incentives is available at the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy (DSIRE) website.
- $1,000 TVA incentive for residential customers
- Financing for solar installations may be available
What are the technical system requirements?
The system and all interconnection-related equipment must have been tested and listed by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for continuous interactive operation with an electric distribution system in compliance with:
- IEEE 1547 (Standard for Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems)
- IEEE 1547.2 (Standard Conformance Test Procedures for Equipment Interconnecting Distributed Resources with Electric Power Systems)
- UL 1741 (Inverters, Converters, and Controllers for use in Independent Power Systems)
- The installer or manufacturer must provide evidence of the testing and compliance with the applicable requirements.
- All systems must be maintained and tested on an ongoing basis in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions, and the distributor has the right to obtain copies of the test results.
- The system must be manufactured (if a packaged system) and installed in compliance with all requirements of the latest edition of the National Electric Code (American National Standards Institute/National Fire Protection Association-70). The installation must be permitted as required by law, be certified by a licensed electrician and pass any applicable code inspections.