The government of Nashville Mayor John Cooper has partnered with Nashville Electric Service (NES), the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Vanderbilt University to build 100 MW utility-scale solar power through the TVA Green Invest program .
Vanderbilt will be a 25 MW co-subscriber to the solar system, achieving its own goal of 100% renewable energy for campus operations. Metro-Nashville will be the first local government to seek access to Green Invest in the TVA area.
On behalf of Metro and Vanderbilt, TVA is partnering with Nashville-based Silicon Ranch Corp. sign a contract to build a solar array in Tullahoma, Tennessee. Silicon Ranch pioneered solar energy in the Tennessee Valley and is one of the largest independent solar power producers in Tennessee USA The company was selected by TVA to build up to 200 MW of solar power at the Tullahoma location as part of the competitive 2020 procurement process. There will be no tax impact on Metro’s operating budget until the fall of 2023, when construction of the array is expected to be completed.
“Not only does 100 MW of solar power help mitigate the changing climate by cost-effectively and efficiently meeting Metro’s clean energy goal for 2025, it also makes Tennesseans work and clean air during a breathless pandemic “Says Cooper. “This public-private partnership will serve as a model for replication for NES’s other large customers. I urge the Nashville corporate sector and major institutions to view TVA Green Invest as a smart way to prepare for a greener future. “
Metro’s 100 MW solar power will generate the clean electricity with a 20-year power purchase agreement. By reducing harmful air pollution, the combined 125 MW of solar power from Metro and Vanderbilt will result in health benefits of $ 3 million to $ 6.8 million across Tennessee. Silicon Ranch Corp. estimates that building the array will create 500 jobs.