Green Power Providers is a TVA renewable energy initiative that provides technical support and incentives for the installation of renewable generation facilities. Green Power Providers incorporates lessons learned from the Generation Partners pilot program that was initiated in 2003 as a result of requests from users of TVA power for "net metering" standards in the TVA service territory. Best practices from other utility performance-based programs were also incorporated. Green Power Providers is the new long-term program that has replaced the Generation Partners pilot program.
Net metering enables customers to use their own generation to offset their consumption over a billing period by allowing their electric meters to turn backwards when they generate electricity in excess of their demand. This offset means that customers receive retail prices for the excess electricity they generate. Because of TVA's current contracts with its local power companies, net metering is not an option in the TVA service territory. TVA created Green Power Providers as a "dual metering" option, an alternative to net metering. With the Green Power Providers program, there are two meters; TVA purchases 100 percent of the green energy output and then uses solar, wind, low-impact hydropower, and biomass as Green Power Switch resources.
Green Power Switch is an energy option that allows local power companies throughout the Tennessee Valley to provide their customers the choice to buy electricity produced by renewable resources. TVA-owned generation in the Green Power Switch program includes solar, wind, and methane gas from a wastewater treatment plant.
Program participants support the environment by helping keep the Tennessee Valley clean and green. For example, a 3 kilowatt (kW) system's annual benefits are equal to planting an acre of trees or taking a car off the road for four months.
In addition, solar systems help improve air quality by reducing emissions of fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide. Participants also benefit by defraying the costs of their renewable system installation and lowering their monthly energy bills through the revenue they receive from the sale of the green power.
Qualifying your system: Which renewable resources and technologies are eligible for the program?
Projects that generate electricity from technologies using any one of the following sources are eligible: solar, wind, low-impact hydropwer, and biomass.
Biomass includes all solid, liquid, and gaseous forms of these fuels:
Go to the Renewable Energy Resources page to learn more about each technology.
You can become a Green Power Provider by following these steps:
All interconnection and safety equipment must be tested by a nationally recognized testing laboratory for continuous interactive operation with an electric distribution system. In compliance with:
In addition, all systems must be manufactured and installed in compliance with the National Electric Code. Systems must be permitted and certified by a licensed electrician in addition to passing all applicable code inspections.
Having your system meet these national standards means that your system is very safe. In addition to these national standards, Green Power Providers requires an outside lockable disconnect device that provides additional security and peace of mind in the event of a power outage. The lockable disconnect device must be accessible by personnel from the local power company, who have the ability and authority to lock out the power from the grid via the disconnect device. For more information about safety, see the following sites:
TVA will consider a number of factors, including:
TVA and Warren RECC may offer an amendatory agreement in the spring of 2013 to existing Generation Partners (GP) participants providing an additional 10 years at retail rates for years 11-20 for their existing generation. The offer will include specific provisions that align with Green Power Providers (maximum of 50 kW, capacity modifications subject to load requirement, annual MW availability, etc.). This tri-party amendatory agreement will be a limited, one-time offer.
Please note, TVA will not approve any capacity modifications (kW increases) for existing GP installations until this amendatory agreement has been signed by the participant, Warren RECC, and TVA.
In order to be a participant in Green Power Providers, the system must be connected to and generate power to the grid. Each installation must have a grid-tied inverter that synchronizes the power generated with the utility grid, and also prevents electricity from flowing to the grid during an outage. When an inverter continues to electrify the grid during an outage, that is called islanding. For the safety of line workers, inverters must stop sending generation to the grid when there is a grid failure. This is a serious concern for utilities because they do not want any utility lines to be energized while they are trying to fix the cause of the power outage.
It is recommended in the Interconnection and Parallel Operation Agreement (the supporting documentation for the Participation Agreement) that the participant be required to install a manual, lockable, visible load break disconnect switch between the generation facility and the distribution system. The participant must also ensure that the manual disconnect is readily accessible to the power company.
Due to these safety concerns, Green Power Providers participants will not be able to supply power to their homes during an outage and should discuss other outage options with their local power company.
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