Distributed Energy Resources

TVA selects solar developers for Knoxville Utilities Board project

The Tennessee Valley Authority announced on April 27 that it has selected First Solar and Origis Energy to develop 212 megawatts of solar power to fulfill the Knoxville Utilities Board’s March 2020 commitment to new renewable energy.

KUB is using the TVA Green Invest program to produce carbon-free energy equivalent to 8% of KUB’s annual electric load, TVA noted.

As part of the initiative, TVA has entered into a 20-year power purchase agreement with the 177 MW Ridgely Energy Farm in Lake County, Tennessee, developed by First Solar Inc. With this agreement, TVA has now contracted for a total of 404 MW of First Solar-developed projects, including an existing 20-year PPA for the 227 MW project in Muscle Shoals.

The KUB project is a milestone because it marks a 60% increase in TVA’s operating and contracted solar capacity since the start of fiscal year 2020, TVA said.

In March, TVA announced a contract with Origis Energy to develop a 200 MW solar site in Lowndes County, Mississippi, for TVA. Thirty-five MW of this facility will support KUB’s Green Invest purchase.

TVA modeled Green Invest after work with Facebook and Google, beginning in 2018, to identify new renewable energy solutions for data centers locating in the region. Green Invest is available to local power companies, and business and industrial customers across TVA’s seven state service territory.

The program leverages long-term agreements to build new, large-scale renewable energy installations in the Valley through a competitive bid process.

TVA extends renewable energy RFP deadline

Meanwhile, TVA on April 27 also said that it is extending the deadline for its request for proposals for new large-scale renewable energy projects to May 15, in order to support companies potentially affected by COVID-19 conditions.

The amount of power for which TVA ultimately contracts will align with TVA customers’ demand for renewable energy.

In 2018 and 2019, TVA procured more than 1,300 MW on behalf of customers through similar requests for proposals.

Large-scale solar costs 80% less than private-scale solar and delivers the best value for renewable energy across TVA’s seven-state service territory, TVA said.

TVA will announce the selected proposals in the fall 2020 and additional information about the RFP is available here.