Utility TVA aims for 10 GW of solar power by 2035, currently has 1 MW in operation – pv magazine USA

The Tennessee-based utility shared that it reduced emissions by 57% from 2005 levels in its fiscal 2021 sustainability report. It said heavy solar goals, but currently only has 1 MW of operational capacity, according to its disclosures.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which serves 10 million people in an 80,000 square mile territory in the southeastern United States, released its fiscal year 2021 sustainability report, revealing progress towards the climate goals and lofty carbon-free production targets through the next decade.

The vitality and growth of our region depends on inexpensive, reliable and clean energy. Over the past five years, TVA has worked with state and local partners to create approximately 350,000 jobs and $45.9 billion in capital investments,” President and CEO Jeff Lyash wrote in his opening remarks. opening on the report.

Lyash said it is aiming for up to 10 GW of solar power by 2035 and more than 200,000 electric vehicles on TVA roads by 2028. Operational and contract solar capacity has increased by 77% over the fiscal year 2021, and the first large-scale solar and battery projects built by TVA are underway and expected to be online by 2024-2025. The utility plans to have approximately 2.8 GW of solar in TVA operation by 2024.

However, the sustainability report disclosures reveal that TVA owns 1MW of usable solar capacity and reports no ownership of wind assets, as of the fiscal year 2021 report. This means the utility will need to deploy solar quickly, as it is only 0.01% of its target of 10 GW by 2035.

Renewable energy capacity owned and operated by TVA has declined slightly each year since 2019, according to the report. Currently, TVA has 5,386 MW of renewable energy capacity, almost all of which is hydropower. In addition to hydroelectric generation, TVA reports purchasing 7,269 MW of renewable energy from outside sources in fiscal year 2021.

Image: VAT

“We have a plan to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and a pathway to around 80% by 2035. We aspire to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” Revecca wrote. Tolene, director of sustainable development at TVA.

TVA has already reduced its emissions by 57% since 2005. Much of this comes from withdrawing coal-fired power plants and activating more nuclear power, which has gone from a 26% share to 41%. Coal fell from 57% of operations to 16% during this period. Solar and wind energy were not significantly represented in the 2005 figures and now represent only 3% of the energy mix.

Solar Investment Programs

The utility said it has committed nearly $3 billion in solar investments through its Green Invest program since 2018. A major growth driver for this program is contracts with major companies like Google, Meta (Facebook ) and others.

The federally owned utility contracted for 1,178 MW of utility-scale solar generation by the end of fiscal year 2020. It also implemented the Green Connect program during the year. exercise 21, creating a network of qualified solar contractors. The program has reached 19 qualified installers, over 1,000 registered customers, approximately 200 submitted installations, 65 verified installations, and over $7.5 million in customer spending on Green Connect Network systems.

TVA runs another program called Green Switch, which provides customers with 100% renewable energy at a low price. The utility said contracts can be signed for as little as $2 a month, and customers can match some or all of their current electricity usage with a mix of solar, wind and solar generation sources. biomass located in the valley. In fiscal year 2021, the mix was approximately 70% solar, 20% wind and 10% biomass sources.

The utility said it has invested more than $2 billion in improving the transmission system through 2025, possibly paving the way for the interconnection of 10 GW of solar power by 2035.

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