On October 8, 2010, the Tennessee Valley Authority issued a press release announcing a new TVA initiative for mid-size renewable generators.
The TVA Renewable Standard Offer will encourage more renewable development within the region by allowing developers to enter into long-term price contracts with TVA. These new renewable projects may be capable of producing between 201 kilowatts and 20 megawatts of electricity. The Renewable Standard Offer Program was designed to accommodate projects that are too large for TVA’s Generation Partners program, which was developed for residential and small commercial customers that generate 200 kilowatts or less.
A number of states and utility companies purchase renewable power from developers, or excess power produced by customer renewable power systems, using a set price, or “standard offer” to encourage the growth of solar, wind and other forms of electricity that emit no pollution or greenhouse gases.
TVA will pay a set price for renewable power based on the time of day the electricity is available to the TVA grid. The new initiative will help TVA meet peak power demand as well as increase renewable generation.
“This plan strikes a balance between supporting renewable energy markets, helping TVA reach its renewable energy generation targets, and keeping electricity costs affordable,” said John Trawick, TVA senior vice president for Commercial Operations and Pricing. “TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer makes it easier for mid-sized renewable generation facilities to contribute to TVA’s electricity supply needs and receive a fair and stable price for the power they provide.”
Contracts of up to 20 years will help TVA avoid rising purchased power prices and keep consumer prices down. The long-term contracts also will make financing the projects easier for participating developers. Biomass, solar and wind projects will be eligible.
TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer initially will be limited to a total of 100 megawatts from all participants, with no single renewable technology representing more than 50 megawatts of the total.
The standard offer initiative complements TVA’s Generation Partners pilot program. In the last few months, Generation Partners has grown from about 200 projects to almost 500 projects totaling about 60 megawatts. Nearly 45 megawatts of that power is from solar energy systems.
After a decision this summer to reduce the Generation Partners project size limit from 999 kilowatts to 200 kilowatts due to explosive growth in the program, TVA is partnering with participating distributors and fulfilling its commitment to admit 31 additional systems that are larger than 200 kilowatts. These systems had been in the program pipeline when the size limit change was made and submitted their application to TVA by Aug. 31, 2010.
“Together, TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer and Generation Partners pilot programs will help grow the renewable generation industry in the region, promote TVA’s economic development goals, and support TVA’s vision and long-term strategy to emphasize cleaner air and greater energy efficiency,” Trawick said.
To learn more about TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer, visit the TVA website at www.tva.com/renewablestandardoffer. To learn more about TVA’s Generation Partners Program visit www.tva.com/greenpowerswitch/partners.