TVA Threatens Solar Industry in the Valley

The graph below shows the amount of solar installed in TVA’s residential and small commercial solar program, Green Power Providers, since 2009. You can see that solar installs have been falling since 2012 and only 1.5 MW of solar was installed in the first half of this year!

TVA and Solar

Solar installations sky rocketed in 2011, and TVA began cutting back the program. The market withstood the drops in the incentive payments since solar costs were falling significantly as well. However, system size limits and program caps have resulted in a program that undercuts the solar market.

Long story short: The demand for solar is higher than TVA’s 10 MW cap, and the extremely low cap has nearly killed the region’s solar industry. Though capacity is set at 10 MW, it is highly unlikely that 10 MW will actually be built in 2014 due to TVA’s approval process. We estimate 5-6 MW of solar will be installed in 2014.

As solar continues to grow nationally, as peer utilities set much bigger solar goals, and with solar prices at their lowest, TVA should double or triple solar program capacity, or get rid of the stifling cap altogether. If you would like to help, you can email the TVA board members at board@tva.gov. Feel free to include the graph above and let them know you would like to see more solar installed in the Valley.
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