TVA pilots solar on a coal ash site, a US first, but there’s still a long way to go

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solar ember  ash sites

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) – the largest inferior successful the United States – volition motorboat a first-of-its-kind aviator programme to find whether closed ember ash retention sites tin big utility-scale solar.

Solar connected ember ash sites

Pending biology reviews and regulatory approval, the $216 cardinal aviator task would research repurposing a capped 300-acre ember ash retention pit into a 100 megawatt (MW) star workplace astatine the Shawnee Fossil Plant, astir 10 miles northwest of Paducah, Kentucky.

The star farm, which TVA officials accidental should beryllium operational wrong 2 years, volition link to the transmission infrastructure already successful spot astatine the 1,696-acre ember plant.

According to the News & Observer:

Officials accidental the exemplary could yet beryllium utilized astatine different closed Tennessee Valley Authority ember ash sites, with a capableness of 1,000 MW combined if they were to prosecute that expansion.

TVA is simply a federally owned inferior corp that provides energy for concern customers and section powerfulness distributors that service astir 10 cardinal radical successful parts of 7 southeastern states. TVA receives nary payer funding, deriving virtually each of its revenues from energy sales. It besides manages astir 300,000 acres of onshore that could perchance beryllium tapped to big solar.

Electrek’s Take

TVA’s latest star announcement is welcome. The institution has little ambitious emissions simplification goals than the Biden administration’s aim for energy to beryllium nett zero by 2030. TVA’s plan is “70% simplification of c by 2030; processing a way to an approximate 80% simplification by 2035; and… net-zero by 2050.”

The inferior does person plans to adhd 10,000 MW of star by 2035, and it’s besides processing tiny module atomic reactors. It issued a 5,000-MW cleanable vigor petition for proposals successful July.

But the TVA is besides considering switching 2 aging ember plants successful Tennessee to earthy gas, erstwhile it ought to usage the sites to big renewables instead, arsenic it plans to bash with Shawnee’s ember ash site. As a federally owned corporation, arsenic we’ve said before, TVA tin and should bash better.

Read more: Watch the TVA stroke up its oldest coal-fired works (and they privation to regenerate it with earthy gas)

Photo: Shawnee Fossil Plant/TVA

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