KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Solar power is on the rise in the Tennessee Valley.
The Tennessee Valley Authority has increased its solar capacity by 60% in the last five months and has plans of doubling its solar energy usage by 2040.
“Carbon reduction is at the center of TVA’s sustainability strategy, and TVA is investing in clean, cost-effective and reliable solar energy to revitalize communities,” TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash said. “Our renewables programs push green power to the local level to create jobs and investment across the Valley.”
TVA expects to add 7,000 to 10,000 megawatts of solar energy to its already more than 7,000 megawatts in the next 20 years.
The public utility’s Green Invest program has added 964 megawatts of contracted solar and 130 megawatts of battery storage in 2020. The recent growth is because of commitments from the Knoxville Utilities Board as well as Metro Nashville movement and Vanderbilt University through a partnership with Nashville Electric Service.
The Green Invest program has attracted more than $736 million in solar investment and 1,025 jobs.
“TVA is using renewable energy to create a competitive advantage and drive economic growth in our region,” said Chris Hansen, TVA vice president of Origination & Renewables. “Through our public power model, we are using Green Invest and other partnerships to position our local power companies, Valley businesses and corporations as environmental leaders.”
Almost 60% of the electricity TVA supplies for the seven-state region is carbon-free.