Today’s Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) board meeting, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and its affiliate, the Tennessee Solar Energy Industries Association (TenneSEIA), are requesting greater transparency in the utility’s solar programs and a commitment to solar development on par with neighboring states.
“Solar is a cost-competitive resource and Tennessee has immense potential which, if seized, would mean an influx of well-paying solar jobs and economic benefits for the state,” said Sean Gallagher, SEIA’s vice president of state affairs. “Unfortunately, TVA’s Distributed Solar Solutions program and the results of a 2017 utility-scale request for proposal have continuously been delayed without explanation.”
In order to properly plan and prepare business decisions, the solar industry and local power companies rely on program details from TVA. This year, despite repeated commitments, those have yet to materialize.
“Without the announcement of the 2018 programs and rate plans, the industry is effectively prevented from developing solar projects to serve the robust demand from commercial and residential customers, halting development in Tennessee and surrounding TVA territory,” said Gil Hough, Executive Director of TenneSEIA. “TVA’s lack of a coherent solar procurement strategy has created business uncertainty that is hurting Tennessee’s economic development goals, as large industrial customers are looking to other states for access to clean energy.”
With a total of 247 megawatts (MW) of solar capacity, Tennessee currently ranks No.25 in the nation for cumulative solar capacity installed. For comparison, TVA’s peers in the Southeast have been rapidly expanding deployment of low-cost, reliable solar power. With more than 4,308 MW of solar capacity, North Carolina is ranked the No.2 state in the nation for cumulative solar capacity installed. Georgia and Florida are also leading solar states, both in the nation’s top 10, with 1,566 MW and 1,430 MW of solar capacity installed respectively.
Celebrating its 44th anniversary in 2018, the Solar Energy Industries Association® is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry, which now employs more than 250,000 Americans. Through advocacy and education, SEIA® is building a strong solar industry to power America. SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to build jobs and diversity, champion the use of cost-competitive solar in America, remove market barriers and educate the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at www.seia.org.
TenneSEIA 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 serves as the primary advocacy group for the solar industry in Tennessee. For more information about TenneSEIA, please visit http://www2.seia.org/e/139231/2018-05-09/2b3hp3/236319536.