TVA and Distributor Partners Among National Solar Leaders
June 5, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ― Two local power companies in the Tennessee Valley Authority service area ranked second and third nationally for growth in sun-generated electricity in the Solar Electric Power Association’s Utility Solar Rankings for 2011.
Among more than 240 utilities in the SEPA survey, Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corp. of Young Harris, Ga. and Fayetteville Public Utilities of Fayetteville, Tenn., ranked second and third, respectively, in the survey’s annual rankings for solar watts per customer.
Blue Ridge Mountain added 192 watts per customer to its system in 2011, while Fayetteville added 148. Together, they added 12 megawatts of solar power in 2011.
Blue Ridge Mountain also added 9.4 megawatts in 2011 to rank 23rd nationally ― highest of any electric co-op ― in the solar megawatts added category.
Other power companies in TVA’s service area that ranked among SEPA’s regional Top 10 lists are: Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp., Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., Jackson Energy Authority, Mountain Electric Cooperative, Louisville Utilities and Starkville Electric System.
“The solar power these local utility companies have added to the grid aligns with TVA’s Integrated Resource Plan that recommends a diverse and balanced portfolio of generation sources, including renewable energy,” said Patty West, director of TVA Renewable Energy Programs. “We congratulate Blue Ridge Mountain, Fayetteville and other distributors of TVA power named in this survey for their national and regional leadership in solar power.”
SEPA’s annual Utility Solar Rankings survey identifies the most active utilities in the country based on the amount of new solar power they added to their systems and the amount of new solar power they have added relative to how many customers they serve.
“TVA and these utilities have successfully adapted their business models and operations to allow for a significant amount of solar energy to be integrated into the grid last year, delivering the many benefits of clean solar energy to its customers,” said Julia Hamm, president and CEO of SEPA. “The impressive gains solar energy made in the U.S. in 2011 can in part be largely attributed to TVA’s leadership.”
West attributed the region’s solar growth to TVA’s Generation Partners, a pilot program launched in 2003 to support homes and businesses that install small-scale renewable generation. The initiative supplies renewable power to TVA's Green Power Switch and creates a market for green power generation in the TVA region.
Generation Partners has more than 1,025 participants producing 61 megawatts, including 988 solar installations producing 52 megawatts. Another 321 renewable energy projects totaling 40 more megawatts are in the approval process.
The pilot program helped 10 local power companies in TVA’s service area place among SEPA’s top solar providers regionally and nationally in 2010.
This fall, Generation Partners will be renamed Green Power Providers, become more closely associated with Green Power Switch, and launch new features to encourage continued development of distributed renewable generating resources across the TVA region.
The Solar Electric Power Association is an educational nonprofit dedicated to helping utilities integrate solar power into their energy portfolios. The full SEPA Top 10 report is available at www.SEPATop10.org.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Mike Bradley, Knoxville, (865) 632-8860
TVA Media Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000