NES launches Nashville’s first community solar power program

Published June 5, 2017

Fox 17 News – June 2, 2017

The Nashville Electric Service contracted with LightWave Solar to build a two megawatt solar array on the site of a former landfill in North Nashville.

It will be made up of 5,966 panels on 10 acres along I-65 on Old Due West Avenue.

As construction kicks off in the coming months, NES will finalize the details and offer it to interested customers.

“The Music City Solar project demonstrates the benefits of local partnerships to meet a growing interest in renewable power, and we are excited about increasing the amount of green energy in Middle Tennessee,” said Decosta Jenkins, NES president & CEO.

The solar panels are expected to generate approximately 2.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, which is enough to meet the average yearly energy needs of 210 households.

“We are pleased to see the strong interest in community solar because it allows TVA to partner with local utilities like NES to bring renewable energy to the Valley at the community level,” said Tammy Bramlett, TVA’s director of business development and renewables.

NES is one of seven utilities selected from 13 proposals to participate in TVA’s Distributed Solar Solutions pilot program.

Brian Bickel with Light Wave Solar said solar panels can save customers money in the long run.

“Community solar is a concept that essentially allows a large field of solar panels to be used for multiple sites,” Bickel said.

John Lovell installed solar panels at his Nolensville home in December of 2016.

“My bill runs about a $140-$200 so I’m saving that plus my credits so overall in a year I’ll earn 1,500 to 2,000 a year,” Lovell said. “The pay back on the solar will be in about 10 years. They’ll last 25 years so it’s a win-win situation for the environment and me as well.”

Groundbreaking on the site is slated for late fall and the project is expected to start generating solar power by spring 2018.