Powering Strong Communities

Origis Energy to develop solar farm in support of renewable energy needs for Knoxville

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) recently announced the selection of Origis Energy to develop a 200-megawatt solar farm in Clay County, Miss., to support the renewable energy needs of Knoxville, Tenn.

Knoxville Utilities Board’s (KUB) investment in the project will enable 50 megawatts of new battery storage technology that will increase power grid resiliency, TVA said.

KUB provides electric, natural gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 468,000 customers in Knoxville and parts of seven surrounding counties.

Scott Fiedler, a TVA spokesperson, noted that KUB will receive renewable energy credits (RECs) generated from the solar facility.

A REC is a market-based instrument that represents the property rights to the environmental, social and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. RECs are issued when one megawatt-hour of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.

Last November, KUB announced that 20% of Knoxville’s electricity will be generated from renewable sources. KUB’s investment in more than 500 MW of solar will help Knoxville meet its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, compared with 2005 levels.

Origis Energy will supply solar energy through a long-term power purchase agreement through TVA’s Green Invest program. Origis will develop, build, own and operate the plant using industry-leading land stewardship techniques.  Origis will complete the facility in late 2023, pending environmental reviews.  

Since 2018, Green Invest has attracted nearly $2.7 billion in solar investment and procured over 2,100 MW of solar on behalf of its customers, TVA said.

Jeff Lyash, President and CEO of TVA, discussed the Green Invest program in a recent episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast.