Rebates offered to local power companies in exchange for signed long term TVA contract

Cheaper power is being offered to municipalities and power co-ops across TVA’s jurisdiction, so long as they agree to sign 20-year contracts with the federal energy company.

Last year TVA approved a budget plan suspending further wholesale rate increases while also offering a 3.1% monthly rebate to any of the 154 TVA distributors that sign these contracts.

Since October 2019 more than 80% of TVA customers have signed the 20 year agreements to receive electricity from this company. This period of service is greater than the previous agreements period. Under TVA’s latest $10.6 billion spending plan, the federal utility ends the six-year-long pattern of base rate increases.

Local power companies who do choose to sign these contracts are also granted the flexibility to either develop or purchase up to 5% of their electricity from other sources, including renewables.

However, some of the largest power companies in TVA’s jurisdiction have not yet signed these contracts, and they include Memphis, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Huntsville, Alabama. These account for nearly half of TVA’s operating revenue.

Memphis Light, Gas & Water (MLGW) is studying what would be the benefits and risks of leaving TVA and whether it can save money doing so. This study won’t be completed until May 2020, and a MLGW spokeswoman has cited no decisions will be reached until that comprehensive outlook is done.

It should be noted, Nashville Electric Service so far is the only one of TVA’s largest customers that has signed TVA’s 20 year contract. Nashville leaders are looking for its own deal with TVA regarding this matter, as Music City’s mayor John Cooper announced in early December that he will be negotiating with the federal utility for more advanced energy options for Nashville’s municipal buildings.

TVA released its latest IRP last year, detailing plans on how best to meet future electricity demands over the next 20 years.

TVA seeks public input on Elora Solar Project by Jan. 3

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is seeking public input on the potential environmental impacts of a 150-MW solar project in Lincoln County, Tennessee, by Jan. 3. The power provider has entered into an agreement with Elora Solar, LLC to purchase power generated by the proposed solar facility.

The Elora Solar Energy Center would be constructed, operated, and maintained by Elora Solar, LLC on approximately 1,700 acres in the county. According to the draft environmental assessment, there are two alternatives:

  • No Action Alternative: TVA would not purchase the power generated by the project under the 20-year agreement with Elora Solar and would not be involved with the project. 
  • Action Alternative: Elora would acquire land to construct, operate, and maintain a single-axis tracking photovoltaic solar power facility. TVA would purchase the power generated.

Under the power purchase agreement, “TVA’s obligation to purchase renewable power is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate environmental review and TVA’s determination that the proposed action will be ‘environmentally acceptable.'”

To submit comments online, please email esmith14@tva.gov, or send by mail to 400 West Summit Hill Drive, WT 11B-K Knoxville, TN 37902. Follow this link for more information.

Google opens Clarksville-Montgomery County data center

Google recently opened its new, $600 million data center in Montgomery County. The data center’s power usage is matched with 100 percent renewable energy as part of a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). 

The Clarksville data center will employee a range of professionals, including engineers, maintenance, computer technicians, and more. Governor Bill Lee, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Bob Rolfe, Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durett, Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts, TVA CEO Jeffrey Lyash, Austin Peay State, and University President Dr. Alisa White joined Google executives for the opening ceremony on November 6.

“We welcome Google to Clarksville and are thrilled with the growing technology sector right here in Tennessee,” said Governor Bill Lee. “Our highly skilled workforce and Google’s reputation for innovation will be transformational for this area and beyond.”

Since initially announcing its investment in the area, Google has given more than $450,000 to local nonprofits and schools. The company has also worked with Austin Peay State University on the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative.

“While this project is a part of a larger nationwide network of data centers, Google has worked hard to make a strong local impact. We are grateful to Clarksville and Montgomery County for welcoming us into this great community, and that is why we have made a concentrated effort to give back,” said Enoch Moeller, Google Data Center Site Lead. “We are thankful for the strong partners we have met throughout the process including, the State of Tennessee, both local governments, the Montgomery County school system, the Tennessee Valley Authority, Austin Peay State University, and many more.”

Google executives said from the outset of the deal being finalized that Clarksville-Montgomery County offered many of the most desired attributes on the company’s site-selection checklist. Those include a trained and tech-savvy workforce, as well as the right energy infrastructure and pad-ready, developable land.

(Some information used from The Leaf Chronicle)

Seven new research fellows joining ORNL’s Innovation Crossroads program cohort three

(Originally published on Innovation Crossroads)

Oak Ridge National Laboratory welcomed seven technology innovators to join the third cohort of Innovation Crossroads, the Southeast’s only entrepreneurial research and development program based at a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) joined Innovation Crossroads as a program sponsor enabling a record number of innovators focused on energy-related and grid topics. Innovation Crossroads is also sponsored by DOE’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO).

Selected through a merit-based process, these scientists and engineers will have the opportunity to advance their technologies by working with world-class science experts and unique capabilities at ORNL, such as Summit, the nation’s most powerful supercomputer; the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility, DOE’s largest advanced manufacturing research center; and the Spallation Neutron Source, offering atomic-level insight into advanced materials. The innovators also will be partnered with a powerful network of mentoring organizations in the Southeast to help them develop business strategies to advance their breakthroughs to market.

The third cohort of Innovation Crossroads fellows and their projects include (video):

  • Jesse Thornburg: Learning-Based Monitoring and Control for Optimizing Commercial Refrigeration Operations
  • Alex Lewis: Microbial Electrolysis for Production of Renewable Hydrogen from Organic Waste
  • Leila Safavi-Tehrani: Advanced Production of High Purity Radioisotopes for Nuclear Medicine
  • Hicham Ghossein: Innovative Processing of Advanced Fiber Nonwoven Mats Through a Hydroentanglement System
  • Trevor McQueen: Next-Generation Sample Preparation Device for Cryo-TEM Studies
  • William Fitzhugh: Industrial Scale Production of Semiconducting Carbon-Nanotubes via Resonant-Dielectrophoresis
  • Jesse Claypoole: Advanced Multi-Spectral Light Field Imaging Sensors

Read more here.

Deadline to submit comments for TVA 2019 IRP Draft

TVA is planning its power-generation system for the next 20 years, and your thoughts will help shape the final plan. Your input will impact the electricity you use in the future and the quality of life in the Valley.

TVA released its draft 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Feb. 15. The 2019 IRP is a comprehensive study that provides direction on how TVA can best deliver clean, reliable and affordable energy in the Valley over the next 20 years. As part of the study, TVA is preparing a programmatic EIS to assess the natural, cultural and socioeconomic impacts associated with the IRP.

TVA invites you to provide comments about the plan. TVA will offer numerous ways for you to learn more and to provide input. Check out the interactive report at this website. You can submit those public comments here until April 8.

After public input is incorporated, the final IRP and EIS will be available to the public and then presented to the TVA Board of Directors for approval. Once approved, a Record of Decision will be published.

The IRP and EIS will help shape TVA’s power system over the next 20 years. You have the power to make a difference in the future of your electricity and life in the Valley.