TVA is squashing solar

Published November 20, 2015

As soon as solar panels became more affordable and more popular, TVA began to cap and close their solar programs. Over the last 3 years, TVA program caps, closures and disorganization have driven down investment, hurt small businesses and continue to block individuals’ rights to harness the free power of the sun. Sign the petition at http://freethesun.org/petition/.

TVA’s planned cuts to 2016 solar programs include:

  • Dropping total solar program capacity from 130 megawatts to 20 megawatts
  • Completely dropping its Renewable Standard Offer (RSO) program for the largest solar projects (projects up to 20MW)
  • Slashing its mid-scale solar program capacity in half, from 20 MW to 10 MW
  • Limiting this mid-scale solar program to local power companies, effectively shutting out private solar developers. Nevertheless, 10MW for 155 local power companies is outrageously low.
  • Eliminating 2 cent solar premium rate for residential and commercial systems in Green Power Providers (GPP) and removing $1,000 installation rebate for residential systems. These reductions in GPP are manageable if TVA would keep the program open year round. GPP is closed until “sometime in January.”
  • Before announcing these cuts, TVA made an empty promise to include the public on its solar decisions. Then, the utility quietly and suddenly made severe cuts to its solar programs without consulting stakeholders or even its own board members.
  • 2016 changes and program disorganization will further accelerate the trend of less solar installed in the Tennessee Valley Authority.  Since 2012, distributed solar has dropped by about 85%, as shown in chart below.

TVA-SolarInstalledGraph6

We are trying to stop this disastrous trajectory by advocating for TVA to maintain its current solar programs while allowing time for public input on any changes. Since TVA is owned by the federal government, we think there is an opportunity for the White House to step in to reverse the anti-solar policies. Please watch the videos and sign a petition to President Obama at freethesun.org/petition/.