Powering Strong Communities

TVA Pilot Program to Examine Installing Solar Projects at Closed Coal Ash Sites

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Board of Directors recently approved a pilot program to determine if closed coal ash sites are suitable for utility-scale solar projects.

Pending environmental reviews and regulatory approval, the $216 million pilot project would explore an innovative approach to repurpose a closed coal ash site at the Shawnee Fossil Plant to advance TVA’s clean energy efforts, TVA said.

TVA previously issued a request for proposals for conducting a Valley Decarbonization Study in calendar year 2023. The study is intended to model pathways to further reductions in emissions throughout the economy.

The Board recognized TVA’s fiscal year 2022 decarbonization initiatives guided by the agency’s strategic priorities and guiding principles:

  • Achieved a 57 percent reduction in “mass” carbon emissions from 2005 levels while having a path to ~80 percent reduction by 2035 and net-zero carbon aspiration by 2050.
  • Issued a 5,000-megawatt carbon-free energy request for proposals.
  • Collaborated with Ontario Power Generation on the feasibility of deploying grid-scale small modular reactors in Canada and the United States.
  • Optimized its existing nuclear fleet to provide almost 40 percent of the region’s carbon-free power.
  • Worked on a grid-scale battery storage project that will use lithium-ion batteries to store energy for use when needed, and it will help guide future battery projects.
  • Explored the use of clean hydrogen to generate electricity and lower carbon emissions.