Cookeville couple installs solar panels

Published December 10, 2018

LightWave Solar project manager, Evan Fitzgerald, stands with the Hudgens.

By Rebecca Franey – Sunday, December 9, 2018

A Cookeville couple recently took advantage of a program that allows their house to generate power and save on monthly electric bills.

Sara and Douglas Hudgens installed solar panels on their house for the Green Power Provider program of the Tennessee Valley Authority.

“There is an issue with climate change, and we can’t keep doing what we’re doing,” said Douglas Hudgens, a retired chemist. “It’s scary. I may not have to worry about it in my lifetime, but I worry about my granddaughters.”

The couple met with representatives of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Cookeville Electric Department to turn on solar panels installed by LightWave Solar.

“We need to be more responsible with how we generate electricity,” Hudgens said.

The Tennessee Valley Authority program, Green Power Providers, allows businesses and residential customers to participate in creating clean, renewable energy for the region.

The Green Power Providers program promotes the generation of green power through small-scale energy renewable systems.

The program’s incentive includes payment for every kilowatt hour generated by that system.

The Tennessee Valley Authority purchases the participant’s energy through the Green Power Switch program. The Switch program allows power companies to give customers the option of buying electricity produced by renewable resources, according to the Tennessee Valley Authority website.

There are 3,218 installations to date under TVA. A 3 kilowatt (kW) system’s annual benefits are equal to planting an acre of trees or taking a car off the road for four months.

Renewable energy systems help improve air quality by reducing emissions of fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide,” according to TVA’s website.

“You get a tax write-off, save money on your electric bill and you can help reduce your carbon footprint,” Hudgens said.

Hudgens said their system will have a 12- to 15-year payback.

The house currently has 12 solar panels, but Hudgens said they would add more and possibly purchase a hybrid car in the future.

“We support the Tennessee Valley Authority and all of their programs in green power,” Karen Brown of Energy Services at Cookeville Electric Department said.

Three residential and seven commercial customers participate in the green power program in the Cookeville Electric Department’s area.

For more information about applying for the Green Power Providers program, visit the Tennessee Valley Authority website or call Karen Brown at 931-520-5422.

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