TVA expands renewables with solar and landfill gas

A solar power facility in Tennessee and a landfill gas-to-energy site in Mississippi have joined the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) growing initiative for mid-size renewable energy generators supplying green power to TVA.

Sharp Manufacturing Co. of America’s solar site in Memphis and Waste Management Renewable Energy’s landfill gas facility in Houston, Mississippi are TVA’s latest Renewable Standard Offer projects.

Started last fall, TVA’s Renewable Standard Offer pays renewable energy generators based on the time of day the power is produced and the demand on the TVA system. The initiative is open to generators with a capacity of up to 20 megawatts using biomass, methane recovery, wind or solar energy sources. No single technology can exceed more than 50 percent of the program’s total capacity of 100 megawatts.

The Renewable Standard Offer complements TVA’s Generation Partners program, which purchases power from smaller generators with a capacity of up to 200 kilowatts at varied rates.

The Sharp solar project in Memphis, with a capacity of 201 kilowatts, or 0.2 megawatts, began producing electricity in June. The power will connect to the TVA system through Memphis Light Gas and Water. Sharp also is a TVA Generation Partner and operates other solar generation facilities at its Memphis plant site.

Waste Management’s landfill gas facility will provide 1.6 megawatts of capacity from methane produced at the company’s Prairie Bluff Renewable Energy Facility. Generation at the site is scheduled to begin in March 2012. The power distributor is Natchez Trace Electric Power Association.

The Houston, Mississippi, project is Waste Management’s second Renewable Standard Offer site and the third overall in the TVA program. The company’s 4.8 megawatt-capacity landfill gas facility in Camden, Tennessee, became TVA’s first program participant in January. It is scheduled to begin delivering power in September through Benton County Electric System in Camden.