New TVA solar projects will power DENSO’s Tennessee operations

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DENSO, a supplier of electrification systems, powertrain systems, thermal systems, mobility electronics, and advanced devices in the mobility center, announced that the company has signed on to receive a portion of the electricity generated by an four-project portfolio of solar installations being developed for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) by Silicon Ranch.

The deal was secured by the City of Maryville, Tennessee, where DENSO has manufacturing operations, which announced at its July 5 meeting that it approved three contracts between the City of Maryville Electric Department and Silicon Ranch for a total of 10.5 MW of solar energy under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program, a portion of which will serve DENSO’s local operations.

TVA’s Flexibility Program, launched in 2019, allows member utilities the flexibility to meet 5% of their power needs through local generating sources, like wind, solar, and natural gas, as long as they have a 20-year long term partnership agreement in place with TVA.

“TVA’s Generation Flexibility program offered us the right vehicle to serve the needs of Maryville’s largest employer while attracting significant capital investment to our community,” said City of Maryville Public Utilities Director Baron Swafford. “This cooperative effort is reflective of the goals of City leadership to support and assist our customers in successfully achieving their objectives.”

Green Invest

In addition to its role in the three solar projects under TVA’s Generation Flexibility program, DENSO will also participate in TVA’s Green Invest program through a fourth Silicon Ranch facility. According to DENSO, Silicon Ranch will fund, construct, own, operate, and maintain each of the four solar power plants for the long-term.

TVA’s Green Invest program is a platform for businesses that have set specific renewable generation and carbon reduction goals to be matched with local renewable energy projects that help to meet those goals. Through a lowest-cost competitive bidding program, TVA negotiates project terms on behalf of the customer.

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.

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.

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