KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – More renewable energy is on its way as the Tennessee Valley Authority announced a 60% increase in contracted solar capacity since October 2020 – maintaining TVA’s green energy leadership with the highest amount of renewable generation in the Southeast.
“Carbon reduction is at the center of TVA’s sustainability strategy, and TVA is investing in clean, cost-effective and reliable solar energy to revitalize communities,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president & CEO. “Our renewables programs push green power to the local level to create jobs and investment across the Valley.”
TVA’s 2020 Request for Proposals for solar capacity and its nationally recognized Green Invest program added 964 megawatts of contracted solar and 130 megawatts of battery storage to the TVA system, pending environmental review. The increase was due in part from Green Invest commitments from Knoxville Utilities Board, and Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Vanderbilt University through a partnership with Nashville Electric Service. TVA will announce additional partnerships in the coming months.
This announcement builds on the region’s strong renewable energy growth. TVA’s 2019 RFP and Green Invest attracted over $736 million in solar investment and 1,025 jobs, and secured 651 megawatts in solar commitments.
“TVA is using renewable energy to create a competitive advantage and drive economic growth in our region,” said Chris Hansen, TVA vice president, Origination & Renewables. “Through our public power model, we are using Green Invest and other partnerships to position our local power companies, Valley businesses and corporations as environmental leaders.”
The outlook for more clean energy in communities across TVA’s service territory looks promising. Currently, with over 7,000 megawatts of renewable energy, TVA expects to add 7,000 to 10,000 megawatts of solar energy by 2040.
“TVA is doing renewables the right way, putting our cities on the forefront of the utility industry,” said Mayor Bonnie Lewis, Metro Lynchburg, Moore County, Tennessee. “Through TVA, the solar power we generate in Moore County can create high-paying jobs in cities as far away as Nashville and Knoxville while new solar farms provide additional jobs and tax revenue locally.”
Almost 60% of the electricity TVA supplies for the seven-state region is carbon-free. This spring, TVA will issue a new request for proposal for additional renewable energy. “Our 2020 success shows we have the right renewable programs, and the decisions we are making now will build on our momentum to make 2021 another great year,” said Hansen.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system, and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation.
Photo cutline: TVA plans to have over 2 gigawatts of solar operating by the end of 2023.
For solar farm b-roll footage, click here.