Jack Daniels has become the first distillery to sign a Green Invest deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), signing up to buy solar from an installation to be built a few miles from the company’s historic Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery.
As part of the deal, TVA is working with developer Silicon Ranch to build a 20 MW solar farm in Moore County, Tennessee. Through a long-term power purchase agreement with TVA that was signed on Jack Daniels’ behalf, Silicon Ranch will own and operate the plant.
The electricity bought by Jack Daniels will fulfill nearly three-quarters of the company’s electrical needs, according to Vice President and Assistant General Manager Melvin Keebler. Prior to the solar commitment, the company transitioned to running its distillery with a zero-waste-to-landfill policy and instituted programs to protect the water and wood used to make the whiskey.
While TVA has not been the most solar-friendly entity historically, it has found success with its Green Invest program. TVA has increased its contracted solar capacity by 60% since October 2020, with the Green Invest program. The energy provider’s 2020 Request for Proposals for solar capacity resulting in the addition of 964 MW of contracted solar and 130 MW of battery storage to the TVA system.
In addition to Jack Daniels, the Knoxville Utilities Board, Metropolitan Government of Nashville, and Vanderbilt University (through a partnership with Nashville Electric Service) have all made solar commitments under Green Invest.
TVA plans to have more than 2 GW of solar operating by the end of 2023, expanding that figure to 7 to 10 GW of solar energy by 2040. To help meet those goals, TVA said it plans to issue a new request for proposals for additional renewable energy this spring.
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