New TVA analysis takes first step toward recognizing the value of solar

TVA is in the early stages of evaluating how customer-generated solar power will be incorporated into the utility’s plans. (© iStock)

Today the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) released its “Distributed Generation- Integrated Value” report, intended to calculate the economic value that solar power provides to the TVA grid. The report confirms that, by encouraging distributed solar, TVA avoids a range of costs associated with burning coal or natural gas for electricity. SELC participated in the yearlong stakeholder process to develop the report and advocated for inclusion of the full range of benefits that solar energy provides to the grid and to the environment.

“The good news is TVA is starting to regard solar power like the valuable resource it is,” said attorney Amanda Garcia, who is a member of the stakeholder group. “But the report only looks at what TVA saves, not the value of solar to the Tennessee Valley as a whole. As a public power company, TVA should dig deeper and craft policies that do not shortchange customers who make the investment to put panels on their roofs.”

TVA embarked on this process as utilities around the country have attempted to define the “value of solar,” a formula that captures just how much customer-generated solar power is worth to the utility, other customers, and to the environment and community at large. Unlike other utilities, however, TVA chose not to consider the full range of benefits and savings when solar is used in place of fossil fuel sources, such as the impacts on pollution, carbon, and water use.

The report will inform how TVA compensates solar customers for the power they provide back to the grid. TVA acknowledges the draft report is a starting point and many other values beyond the utility’s avoided costs will be considered as the stakeholder process continues, including solar’s environmental impacts and benefits to local power companies.

More News

Southern Virginia highway proposal threatens recent progress

This week, SELC filed comments on behalf of itself and 16 organizations on the draft environmental impact statement for the wasteful and destruct...

Nashville mayor signs letter urging Congressional climate action

Nashville Mayor John Cooper is one of nearly 200 U.S. mayors advocating for a zero-carbon green economy that creates jobs and emphasizes equity b...

Thank you for fighting the Atlantic Coast Pipeline with us

When, on July 5th, Duke Energy and Dominion Energy abruptly cancelled the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, it didn't come out of nowhere. For years, SELC...

SELC seeks nominations for 2021 Reed Environmental Writing Award

We are now accepting submissions for the 2021 Phillip D. Reed Environmental Writing Awards. Nominations are welcome from anyone, including reader...

Lawsuit: Government illegally ‘cut corners’ to ram through NEPA changes

SELC is representing a group of 17 environmental organizations in a lawsuit filed today accusing the government of racing through an industry-fri...

Settlement provides relief for Duke Energy customers

The Southern Environmental Law Center recently reached a partial settlement with the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association and Duke Energ...

More Stories