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.