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TVA selects solar developers for Knoxville utilities board project

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The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) announced is selection of First Solar and Origis Energy to develop 212 MW of solar power to reach the Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB)’s March 2020 renewable energy commitment. KUB is using the TVA Green Invest program to reach this goal.

As part of the initiative, TVA entered into a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to purchase the output of the 177-MW Ridgely Energy Farm in Lake County, TN. With this agreement, TVA now has a total of 404 MW of First Solar developed projects.

Additionally, TVA announced a contract with Origis Energy to develop a 200-MW solar site in Lowndes County, MS and 35 MW of this capacity will support KUB’s Green Invest purchase as well.

The KUB project marks a 60% increase in TVA’s operating and contracted solar capacity since the start of fiscal year 2020.

TVA modeled Green Invest after work with Facebook and Google, beginning in 2018, to identify new renewable energy solutions for data centers locating in the region. Green Invest is available to local power companies, and business and industrial customers across TVA’s seven state service territory. The program leverages long-term agreements to build new, large-scale renewable energy installations in the Valley through a competitive bid process.

“We launched Green Invest to help local power companies and businesses meet their sustainability goals by building new large-scale solar facilities across our region,” said Doug Perry, TVA vice president of Commercial Energy Solutions.

“TVA’s Green Invest program sets the benchmark for public-private partnerships, demonstrating how innovative procurement and deal structures can enable utilities’ decarbonization commitments,” said Eran Mahrer, First Solar’s vice president, Markets, Origination, and Government Affairs.”