TVA seeks comment on Draft Environmental Assessment regarding private-scale solar programs

TVA is seeking comment on its Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposal to close the Green Power Providers program and bringing a new private-scale solar offering to market.

The public comment period runs October 9 through November 8. The Draft EA and online comment form can be found at www.tva.com/nepa. Or here.

As the market evolves, TVA continually evaluates its renewable programs and strategic direction. While utility-scale solar provides the least-cost approach to add solar in the Valley, market analysis also highlights the demand for private-scale solar. TVA believes that this new offering will reflect the needs of those wanting to invest in private solar.

Background

TVA, partnering with local power companies and TVPPA, has supported solar generation in the Tennessee Valley through a number of pilots and programs for nearly two decades in order to gain knowledge, experience, and promote solar as a renewable option to our customers. Today we have 3,745 installations providing 1,099 MWAC operating and contracted capacity.

In 2017, a stakeholder group, the Solar Strategies Initiative, was convened representing multiple interests to offer a recommended path forward. Three key recommendations had strong support:

  • TVA should focus efforts on utility scale projects
  • Solar growth should follow demand and economics
  • Resources and efforts are needed to educate customers

Consequently, TVA has evaluated its renewable programs and proposed closing the Green Power Providers program effective January 1, 2020. To address the demand for private-scale renewables, TVA and its partners, including TenneSEIA, is working to propose a new private-scale solution. Using input from people across the valley a concept was put forward and is now under review in the Draft EA. It contains:

  • A network of qualified installers
  • Installation guidelines, best practices, inspection standards, and commissioning protocols
  • Training and educational material

If approved, the new private-scale solar offering will go into effect in 2020.