TVA seeks comment on enviro review for 20-MW solar project in Tennessee

The Tennessee Valley Authority said Dec. 16 that it is seeking public input until Jan. 15 on its draft Environmental Assessment for a proposed power purchase agreement with a solar generating facility in Madison County, Tennessee.

TVA has tentatively approved an agreement to purchase the electricity generated by Silicon Ranch Corp.’s proposed 20-MW (dc) Providence Solar Center for up to 20 years, pending the outcome of the assessment process. The solar project, currently scheduled for completion in late 2016, would occupy about 118 acres located near U.S. Highway 70 near the community of Denmark about 13 miles west of Jackson. The facility would tie into a nearby Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corp. substation.

TVA proposes to execute a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Providence Solar Center LLC (PSC), a subsidiary of Silicon Ranch, for electricity generated by this facility, to be sited between Providence Road and Bond Cemetery Road near the unincorporated community of Denmark, Tenn. The proposed solar farm would occupy approximately 118 acres of a 288-acre tract that PSC will lease for a 20-year period with 5- year extension options from the property owner.

The project would be connected via a 0.5-mile 12.47-kV overhead power line to the nearby Morris Substation, which is owned by Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corp.

In its 2011 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), TVA established the goal of increasing its renewable energy generating capacity by 1,500 to 2,500 MW by 2020. TVA established the Renewable Standard Offer (RSO) program as one of the means of meeting this goal. Under the RSO program, TVA purchases energy at established terms and conditions from operators of qualifying renewable energy-generating facilities. Qualifying facilities must be new, located within the TVA service area, and must generate electricity from specific technologies or fuels. Solar PV generation is one of the ualifying technologies. PSC has met the qualifications for the RSO program.

TVA’s 2015 IRP recommends the continued expansion of renewable energy capacity, including the addition of between 175 MW and 800 MW of solar capacity by 2023. This proposed action would help meet this need for additional solar capacity.

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.