This blog is the second in a series SACE is publishing on recent energy efficiency meetings between TVA and community members all across the Tennessee Valley. The first blog, focusing on TVA customers in rural East Tennessee, can be found here. As part of a statewide organizing effort, communities across Tennessee are meeting with Tennessee [...]
This is a joint blog between Southern Alliance for Clean Energy and Appalachian Voices. It is also the first in a series SACE will publish on recent energy efficiency meetings between TVA and community members all across the Tennessee Valley.
Below are the public comments given by Southern Alliance for Clean Energy’s Executive Director, Dr. Stephen A. Smith. These comments were delivered to the Tennessee Valley Authorities Board of Directors during a public meeting held August 25, 2016.
The Tennessee Valley Authority is ready to move ahead with plans to demolish it’s Widows Creek coal plant located in Stevenson, Alabama. In accordance with environmental regulations, TVA analyzed environmental impacts associated with various demolition and closure options and released it’s Final Environmental Impact Statement in early June.
TVA will use controlled explosions to raze Units 1-8 at the plant and will work to ensure all hazardous materials and potential safety hazards are removed. Demolition will begin in late 2017, making way for the much heralded Google Data Center that will be built at the former coal plant site. Google announced it’s plans to build its 14th data enter back in June 2015 and plans to power the facility with 100% renewable energy. The data center will provide 75-100 new full-time jobs and is a welcome economic development opportunity for Northern Alabama.
Yet again, Tennessee senior senator, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R), has channelled his inner Don Quixote and is tilting at windmills – well, wind turbines to be exact. Just this week he took to the senate floor in Washington, D.C. to bash wind energy using his same old outdated arguments. Sen. Alexander has now set his sites on a proposed wind farm in Cumberland County, TN.
In his latest anti-wind campaign, Sen. Alexander used a photo of a poorly planned Palm Springs, CA wind project to bolster his claim that the proposed Crab Orchard Wind Project, pursued by Apex Clean Energy, would ruin the scenic views and environment in Cumberland County. But where is Sen. Alexander’s outrage with actual projects in Tennessee that are currently ruining communities scenic views and threatening the surrounding environment???
As April came to an end, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sent a strong signal that it wasn’t going to let the current political and legal battle keep it from moving some of the voluntary parts of the Clean Power Plan forward.
EPA sent a proposal related to the voluntary early-action incentive program, known as the Clean Energy Incentive Program, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review – the next step in the policy-making process. EPA recognizes that technological innovation in the clean energy sector is driving development of clean energy resources and if EPA wants to keep pace with the growing science, it must continuing moving forward. Utilities and regulators should take a cue from EPA and continue to work together to reduce the overall carbon footprint of the Southeast’s electricity sector – or risk being left behind.
2016 is the year to act on wind power in a big way and the clock is ticking. At the end of 2015, Congress passed a long-term phaseout of the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy – a key federal incentive for the industry that continues to drive down the cost of wind energy.
Cleaning up coal ash works. What are our southeastern states doing to make it happen? This post is part one of a two-part series exploring the state of coal ash regulation and clean up in the Southeast. Part one focuses on North and South Carolina and Tennessee.
Where’s the best place for solar energy? It may not seem obvious to many readers, but Memphis, Tennessee is one of the smartest places to put solar energy in the Southeast. Just this week, TVA showed how it is following this kind of smart siting by signing a a 53 megawatt (MW) solar facility power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nashville-based renewable energy provider, Silicon Ranch Corporation, to construct what will be Tennessee’s largest solar array in Millington, TN, just north of Memphis.
What’s so smart about putting solar in the western part of TVA’s service territory? It turns out that on hot summer days, TVA can rely on the sun shining on West Tennessee and Northern Mississippi late into the day – producing solar energy just when air conditioners across the entire Tennessee Valley most needs this clean energy to keep folks cool.
Because of the PTC phaseout, there is a real urgency for wind farm development to begin as soon as possible. Electric utilities that delay purchase of wind energy resources may end up losing hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars in ratepayer savings due to a reduction in the federal PTC value.