Distributed Energy Resources

TVA clears path for local power company generation

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced on June 22 that an environmental assessment determined a finding of no significant impact, which will allow most local power companies across the Tennessee Valley to locally generate a portion of their own load to meet customer needs.

Currently, 140 of 154 local power companies have entered into 20-year long term partnership agreements (LTPA) with TVA.

These agreements allow local power companies to reduce the amount of energy they purchase from TVA by generating up to 5% of their average energy needs. Local power companies will then put the locally generated energy on their distribution system for customers’ use.

The final environmental assessment presents a revised alternative that allows for 2.5 times the amount of solar than what was defined in the draft environmental assessment. Through the flexibility provision, local power companies will collectively be able to deploy between 800 MW and 2,000 MW of distributed generation, based on the resource type, if all 154 local power companies took advantage of the LTPA.

“This option empowering local generation adds another avenue to grow distributed and renewable energy resources across the Valley,” said Doug Perry, TVA senior vice president, Commercial Energy Solutions. “Working with our local power company partners, we continue to bring new solutions to market that reduce carbon, meet changing customer needs and attract jobs into our communities.”

“This is very positive for our community, and we see a need for local generation right now,” said BrightRidge CEO Jeff Dykes. “Customers demand additional solar power, and now we can have local solutions in place to quickly improve the competiveness of our region by proactively meeting those demands.” 

In March, Knoxville Utilities Board announced their partnership with TVA under the Green Invest program to produce carbon-free energy equivalent to 8% of KUB’s annual electrical load.

This will be in addition to the up to 5% of annual load that it may now generate locally and options available through the TVA green portfolio of renewable options.

Additional details about the final environmental assessment are available here.