TVA Pushes Ahead With Renewable Energy

The seventh solar-powered facility of the Tennessee Valley Authority has been commissioned in Alabama.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama, US, 2001-10-03 [] Agency representatives joined with Huntsville Utilities, civic officials and Sci-Quest to dedicate the facility which was built as a result of Huntsville Utilities’ participation in a test of renewable energy. Huntsville Utilities is one of 12 distributors of TVA power that is taking part in a market test to measure consumer response to the sale of electricity generated by solar, wind and landfill gas. The electricity is sold under the name Green Power Switch. “Renewables are important for protecting our environment and making our nation more self-reliant in energy,” says TVA director Skila Harris. “TVA is proud to join with our public-power partners like Huntsville Utilities to demonstrate renewable energy’s potential here in northern Alabama.” The solar facility at Sci-Quest has three canopies that support a total of 720 photovoltaic modules, which have been operating since February. The capacity of the PV modules is 27 kW, and they can generate 41,300 kWh of electricity a year. “The solar power demonstration exhibit is a valued additional resource that not only helps Sci-Quest explain the science involved in the production of electric power, but also encourages our young visitors to think ‘out-of-the-box’ in considering alternate power sources for the future that are environmentally friendly,” says J.D. Horn, executive director of Sci-Quest. Customers of Huntsville Utilities can buy green power in 150 kWh blocks, which is 12 percent of monthly energy use for an average home. Each block adds US$4 to a monthly electric bill. TVA solar sites across the Valley can generate up to 250 kW. In addition to solar, the federal power agency has a wind power facility at Buffalo Mountain in Tennessee and a landfill gas generation facility in that state. Ultimately, Green Power Switch will provide up to 9 MW of electricity from renewable resources.

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