RFP alert: Tennessee Valley Authority seeks 5 GW of carbon-free energy


In what the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) says is one of the largest clean energy procurement efforts in the nation, the utility has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for up to 5 GW of carbon-free energy.

“We are taking this bold, decisive action because TVA is uniquely positioned to lead in reducing carbon emissions for the region and the nation,” said Jeff Lyash, TVA president and chief executive officer. “This announcement is a clear signal to our industry, our partners, and our nation that we need to move further and faster, together, to make a cleaner future a reality.”

The RFP is seeking to procure up to 5 GW of carbon-free energy resources with commercial operation dates from 2023 through 2029. Those resources can include solar, wind (offshore or land based), hydro, geothermal, biomass, nuclear, and green gas. The utility is also seeking proposals for battery energy storage systems (BESS) paired with clean energy resources, standalone BESS, and hybrid combinations. All projects will be contracted under a power purchase agreement, and all the applicable associated environmental attributes (renewable energy credits/certificates, etc.) will be transferred to TVA. Resources must be located in the TVA service territory or delivered to TVA’s interface with neighboring transmission systems.

TVA’s plan is to reduce carbon from 2005 levels by 70% by 2030, 80% by 2035, and to be net-zero by 2050. This recent request follows an RFP in 2020 that resulted in the addition of 964 MW of solar with 130 MW of battery storage. The utility plans to bring on an additional 10 GW of solar capacity by 2035.

While TVA has not been the most solar-friendly entity historically, it has found success with its Green Invest program, which is a platform for businesses that have set specific renewable generation and carbon reduction goals to be matched with local renewable energy projects. Through a lowest-cost competitive bidding program, TVA negotiates project terms on behalf of the customer. TVA reports that since 2018, the Green Invest program has generated over $3 billion in investment across its seven-state region.

Lyash said last year about 270 companies selected the Tennessee Valley to do business because of TVA’s low-cost, reliable and clean energy. In April, Envision AESC, an electric vehicle battery company, announced a 2,000 job, $2 billion investment to build a new battery factory in Bowling Green, KY, reportedly because of TVA’s renewable energy programs.

RFP proposals must be submitted by October 19, 2022. Review the RFP and submit bids at tva.com/Information/Doing-Business-with-TVA. Project selection will be announced in Spring 2023.

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