TVA clears 80-MW NextEra solar project through its enviro review process

On Nov. 12, the Tennessee Valley Authority issued a final environmental assessment (EA) and finding of no significant impact on its proposed purchase of power from the River Bend Solar Project, an 80-MW (ac) solar facility proposed to be constructed and operated by River Bend Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC.

The River Bend Solar Project would occupy approximately 645 acres in Lauderdale County, Alabama, about five miles west-northwest of Florence. It would consist of multiple parallel rows of photovoltaic panels on single-axis tracking modules, direct to alternating current converters, and transformers. The facility would be connected to TVA’s existing Colbert Fossil Plant–Selmer 161-kV transmission line adjacent to the solar farm site.

River Bend Solar plans to begin construction by early 2016 and complete construction and begin commercial operation by the end of 2016.

The EA describes the anticipated impacts of constructing and operating the proposed solar generating facility and the connection to the TVA transmission system. TVA issued a draft of the EA for public review and comment in August 2015.

Under the terms of the conditional Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approved by TVA in February 2015, TVA would purchase the electricity generated by the proposed solar facility for 20 years. TVA would construct a short (less than 1,000 feet) transmission line between the existing line and the project substation.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.