TennesSEIA Applauds New TVA Solar Program

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2012) The Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TennesSEIA) today applauded the launch of a new Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) program aimed at promoting the solar industry within TVA’s service territory.

On Feb. 13, TVA launched its Solar Solutions Initiative, which provides additional incentives for mid-sized solar projects installed by local developers using solar panels made within TVA’s service territory.

“TennesSEIA supports TVA’s efforts to bring new solar generation online within its service territory and provide incentives for projects using locally manufactured solar panels, installed by local developers,” said Andrew Johnson, TennesSEIA’s Executive Director.  “The Solar Solutions Initiative will benefit the entire Tennessee solar value chain.  From producers of intermediate solar goods like AGC Flat Glass and Shoals Technologies, to module manufacturers like Sharp and the dozens of Tennessee installers, the Solar Solutions Initiative will help deploy more solar energy and create more solar jobs in Tennessee.”

“This incentive is well thought out, and reflects the actual positive economic value to the economy and jobs that solar generates in the Valley,” said Gil Hough, TenneSEIA president and Renewable Division Manager with RSI, Oak Ridge.

“The new program takes an important step in the right direction; however TenneSEIA is concerned that this incentive level may not be adequate to stimulate the mid- to large-scale solar market.  While costs for solar systems have dropped 30 percent in the last year, the new program reflects an almost 50 percent drop in what TVA is willing to pay for the power and renewable energy credits from the previous program for this market segment.”

The Solar Solutions Initiative is a two-year pilot program for individual projects from 50 kilowatts to one megawatt in size. It is offered as an added incentive to TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer program, which began in fall of 2010 for larger renewable project developers.  The new solar pilot incentive is offered in conjunction with the Renewable Standard Offer’s wholesale market rates (which vary by season, day and time of day) that reflects the actual cost of generating power for TVA.  Initial incentive levels will pay eligible projects an additional six cents per kilowatt-hour for systems up to 200 kilowatts or four cents per kilowatt-hour for systems up to one megawatt. TVA will pay the Solar Solutions incentives for 10 years.

About TenneSEIA
TenneSEIA (Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association) is the state chapter for the national Solar Energy Industries Association, and represents the interests of the solar energy industry in Tennessee. The mission of TenneSEIA is to make solar energy a mainstream energy source and realize the full potential of the solar industry in Tennessee. The Association was officially kicked off at an event in Nashville on September 15th, 2010 and serves as the primary advocacy group for the solar industry in Tennessee.

For more information about TenneSEIA, please visit www.tenneseia.com.

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