Project enters service in Alabama, nearly doubling the state’s installed solar capacity


The 227 MW Muscle Shoals solar PV project has entered service in Colbert County, Alabama, along the border with Mississippi.

The project is the first project in the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA’s) Green Invest program, an initiative that has raised TVA’s contracted solar capacity.

Muscle Shoals was developed by Ørsted and its 227 MW of capacity makes it the largest project in Alabama. Just saying that  doesn’t quite tell the full story, however. Prior to Muscle Shoals, Alabama had a cumulative installed solar capacity of around 280 MW, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). That means Muscle Shoals nearly doubled the state’s total installed solar capacity.

While solar has not historically had a strong presence in Alabama, SEIA projects the state will install 1,350 MW over the next five years. That would place Alabama 27th in the country for capacity installations.

Muscle Shoals has a long-term Green Invest power purchase agreement (PPA) with TVA, which, in turn, will supply energy to a Facebook data center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Ørsted acquired Muscle Shoals in 2020 from Longroad Energy.

Facebook is proving to be a regular customer for TVA’s Green Invest program. In March, the company signed deals for 145 MW of the 173 MW Logan County project in Kentucky, sharing that project with General Motors. It also signed a deal for the output of a 150 MW solar farm and 50 MW battery energy storage system in Mississippi. That project, located in east central Mississippi, marked the first Green Invest deal that Facebook made for a project that includes battery storage.

In May, Facebook signed a Green Invest contract for 110 MW of  a 150 MW solar facility, set to be constructed in in Shelby County, Tennessee. That capacity will be used to support a data center operations in Gallatin, Tennessee. RWE Renewables agreed to receive the remaining 40 MW of capacity.

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