As part of the New Deal’s attempt to electrify the Tennessee Valley, bringing jobs and development to a region of the United States hit hard by the Great Depression, Congress chartered the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a government-owned independent corporation, in 1933.
With the full-throated support of the federal government, a region whose rural nature would have made it uneconomical to string electrical wires to the small towns and farming communities throughout the valley got their first experience of electricity thanks to the TVA – and cities like Nashville and others flourished.
Now, in partnership with Metro, The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, LightWave Solar and Nashville Electric Service (NES), the TVA is electrifying Nashville once again, only this time it’s with a community solar program. The project is one of 13 in the process of development under the TVA’s Distributed Solar Solutions pilot program.
Named Music City Solar, the 5,966-panel, 2 MW farm will be built on a former landfill north of the city. LightWave Solar, an Tennessee-based developer, will break ground on the project on January 16.
Customers will be able to subscribe after that date for a one-time fee (plus tax) of $215/module. Even if they don’t participate themselves, they can also make a donation through the Community Foundation to provide energy efficiency, weatherization or a solar credit for low-income customers.
Subscriptions will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
“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.