TVA gauging public appetite for Yum Yum

The TVA wants public help in deciding whether it’s no or no-go on harnessing the sun at Yum Yum.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is seeking public input on an environmental assessment for the Yum Yum solar project. Invenergy and NextEra Energy Resources are TVA’s partners in developing the 147-MW, 2,649-acre solar photovoltaic site at the town of Yum Yum in Fayette County, Tenn.

If approved and completed, the project is part of a clean energy PPA between Google and the TVA. Google is having massive data center campuses built in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

The TVA has entered into a preliminary power purchase agreement (PPA) with Yum Yum Solar LLC to acquire the power produced there. The draft environmental assessment, however, includes two alternatives: one in which TVA does not enact the 20-year PPA and one in which it does.

The planned solar farms in Alabama and Tennessee would total close to 300 MW generating capacity and include some 1.6 million solar PV panels, according to reports.

The two sites would theoretically offset the energy used by Google’s new data centers. They would be the biggest solar farms ever built specifically for Google PPAs, according to reports.

Under the PPA, TVA’s obligation to purchase renewable power is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of the appropriate environmental review and TVA’s determination that the proposed action will be “environmentally acceptable.”

TVA customers can go to the website for more information on making public comment about the Yum Yum project.

(Rod Walton is content director for Power Engineering and POWERGEN International. He can be reached at 918-831-9177 and

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Rod Walton is Content Director for POWERGEN International and Power Engineering.

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